Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Food Storage

I finally started trying to pay attention to my food storage again! Things were starting to pile up, as it was basically a place to put things that I wanted out of sight. ;)  And as the seasons are changing we were trying to get out different clothes, etc...so basically it is a mess in my storage room.  I could barely walk in!  But yay! I got it organized and it feel so good!!  These pictures do not do it justice...I feel like a new person. lol

Food storage is important for anyone...sure it is good to be prepared for a natural disaster, but it also comes in handy if someone loses their job or if your budget happens to be really tight that month!

Do you need to get started on your food storage or do you need to know where you're at with yours?
Basically, follow these steps:
#1  Make a list of all breakfasts, lunches and dinners that you eat on a regular basis.
#2 write down the ingredients that you use in those meals
#3 stock up on those ingredients!!

Simple as that.  That will get you STARTED.  If you finish that and need more long term, then you just need to start grabbing the items that last 30 years...that way you can keep them in your storage and you don't have to use or rotate them.  For example...I have 2 45lb pails of wheat.  Do I use wheat? no, I do not.  But in an emergency, you can eat it like oatmeal or grind it for flour.  I have several huge bags of dried beans...these are super easy to cook if I had to.  Rice lasts 20 years or more and you can buy all the #10 cans of powdered eggs, powdered butter, powdered milk etc that all last 30 years. 

Lastly, make sure you AT LEAST have WATER!!   Each person in your family needs 14 gallons of drinking water for a two week supply.  Just get those 24 packs of water bottles...each one has a little over 3 gallons.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New Furniture

 Now I can let you know what I've been up to the last couple weeks! I've been painting a piece of my furniture.  I know what you're thinking...that this is NOT organizing.  But for me, anything that I get done that makes me happier, is another step towards my organization. ;)  Especially since I definitely had to organize my time to make room to be able to even DO such a project!  Here's the BEFORE:
This is the armoir in my front room.  We have had it for 6 years now and it holds our television.  I love that I can close the doors and hide the tv/dvd player/cable box mess.  It has been looking old...it's a little more scratched up on the inside and the bottom cabinet doors have been played with way too much. 

Anyway, I found out about CHALK PAINT....specifically Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint.  I was immediately interested because it says it does NOT require sanding or priming...the paint will stick to anything!  The catch is that a QUART of this paint costs $39.00 and then you need the clear wax to seal the paint, which is $27.00.  I researched so many blog posts from people who have used it and they said it goes such a long way...you should be able to paint several pieces of furniture with one can. 

I was SO nervous, but I took a chance and just decided to try it.  I took the doors off and cleaned the entire thing and put it in the garage.  The paint was pretty thick....my first mistake was that I should have watered it down a bit to help it spread a little better.  My second mistake...even though they say it sticks to everything, it didn't want to stick very good to the part in the back....it's cardboard-like...you know, the stuff they use for cheap furniture? I got this at Target and it is a nice piece, but fairly inexpensive. Anyway, it did NOT want to stick to it and it was looking like this :

It took several coats to cover this up and it still isn't even completely covered, but I let it go because I wanted the whole piece to be a little distressed anyway. ;)
Well, I ended up having to get ANOTHER quart of paint, just to finish.  I was not happy about this, but I realize there was a lot more to paint than I thought...not only the outside of the piece, but inside each little box and there was also the doors and shelves to paint...both sides! So, chalk paint was probably not the cheapest choice for this piece of furniture.  BUT once you get it on, it is VERY easy to work with as far as distressing.  It sanded down smooth and beautiful.  I LOVED this part.  The doors are my favorite!

Lastly I just needed to cover it with the clear wax to finish the job and it feels like a smooth piece of brand new furniture! I certainly love the "Old White" color up against my dark walls.  It's very refreshing.  If any of you are wanting to try it, I would suggest just using it on smaller pieces of furniture, but that is just me. You can check out Annie Sloan Paint here : http://www.anniesloan.com/acatalog/copy_of_How_to_use_the_paint.html.  There are many beautiful colors.  The only downfall is that you can only buy it at certain places...so you can click on American Retailers and look to see if there is a place that sells it near you.  Here in Utah, you can go to Park City or to Highland...which is where I bought mine. If you are traveling a long distance I would call first to make sure they have exactly what you want and that someone is there to answer any questions you have! Good luck!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Recipe Organization

Are you like me and have the following:
  • many many recipes that you've printed out from online?
  • magazines that have a recipe that you'd hoped to try someday?
  • recipe books that you use for only 3 recipes?
Does your stash of recipes start to look like this :

Then I bet you'll be as excited as I was to turn my cluttery recipe stash into this!

I've tried the recipe box and it just wasn't cutting it.  It was getting too messy and didn't fit everything I had!! I got the recipe binder idea from my wonderful sister in law.  We would be cooking something and she'd whip it out and flip right to what she wanted to find.  I loved it.  Although, hers could use an upgrade, and I have made it my goal to help her with that. ;)

Let's get started! What do you need?

**a 1 1/2-inch binder that has page inserts on the cover (ok, this is not essential, but then how could you insert the cute printable??)

**page dividers  Any will work, but you can also try some that have pockets in them.  I loved these Avery Style Edge dividers and it comes with 8.  Here, I put my "breakfast" insert into a page protector and then taped the divider to the back of the page protector. I did this because if you use the holes...you won't be able to see the tab anymore, because of using page protectors.
**page protectors (sure you could 3 hole punch, but this will keep the splatters off
**PRINT whichever printables suit you for your binder.  A HUGE shout out to my friend Brittney from Gettin' Scrappy With Britt.  She designed the CUTEST inserts for your book! Email me at geetaraub@yahoo.com and I'll be happy to send you whichever ones you need.  There is also one for Pasta/Pizza that is not shown here:

I only had EIGHT tabs because I really don't have a ton of recipes.  So I used : Appetizers, Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Soup/Salads, Veggie/Sides, Meatless and I used the BEEF page for all my MEAT recipes.  Now, my sister in law has SO many recipes so she likes her meat categories broken down.  It also gets hard for them all to fit into one binder....so here are her two binders. ;) There are similar tabs that are larger, so there are 5 in a pack. So I put 5 in each binder

When you are organizing your recipes, to save space, you might want to bunch smaller recipes together...either re-typing them to put several on a page
OR you can use the page protectors with pockets to insert just half a sheet or a recipe card:

 Recipe Card Pockets - 

12 pages with 2 pockets each page for $3.95 on Amazon

1 page with 3 pockets for $.50 each found here :  http://www.engravedgiftcollection.com/catalog/P-536B.html

Friday, February 10, 2012

Flower Canvas

I will start by admitting this was not my idea.  Mostly everything I do these days is from Pinterest, and this project is no different. I found this idea here : flower canvas .  I was very excited because Hobby Lobby has a 2-pack of 16X20 canvases for only $7.99.  So this project costed me $4.00 plus a few sheets of scrapbook paper. 
My guest bathroom has had empty walls ever since we moved in.  I knew I wanted to put this in there, so I chose colors to match.  If you look at the post where I got the idea...she painted the canvas first. I chose not to because I liked the white background.  She also shows a good demonstration on how she cut out the flower petals, so check it out. SUPER EASY!  I used Mod Podge to glue down each petal. Using a sponge brush I covered the ENTIRE leaf on the back and when I placed it on, I used a paper towel to rub over the top, making sure every corner was flat on the canvas.  This is the part that takes the longest. The petals that are on the edge just need to be wrapped around the edge of the canvas.
Take care with each petal, making sure it is secure on the canvas. Once you do this with all of the petals, the mod podge needs to be COMPLETELY dry before going over the top of the whole thing, otherwise the paper will start to bubble up.  I would suggest waiting an hour, just to be sure.  Once that time has passed, you can use your sponge brush to go over the entire canvas to give it a more professional finish. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stuffed Animals

 Does your child love stuffed animals as much as mine does?  She can never get enough and they were cluttering up her room.  I've seen many cute ways to store stuffed animals, but I decided to go with the wall hanging planters. 
 Her room is pretty small, so I wanted to utilize her wall space.  I got these planters last year, so I can't remember how much they were! You can find them anywhere...home depot, lowes, walmart...or maybe you can be on the hunt in thrift stores or garage sales.  They were black and I spray painted them white to match her room.
 They were the perfect solution for storing the stuffed animals and they also look pretty cute on the wall, so it serves as room decor as well!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Menu Board

I always struggle with "What To Make For Dinner?!!!" and I found a solution!  I can not take credit for this beautiful idea because I first saw a menu board on Pinterest.  But I knew right away that I had to make one of my own and I'll tell you why : 
  1. It gives me a weekly layout...which is great because I usually grocery shop weekly
  2. The ingredients are on the back of each card, so when I've chosen my meals for the week, all I have to do is turn the card over for a shopping list
  3. When the week is over, I can discard the meal cards into "Tasted Good" so I know those have been used recently and when I go to choose new meals I can grab from "Cook Me".  It will help me rotate what we eat without me even having to think about it!  And you can add and throw away meal cards as you please!
  4. It sure is darn cute!
  5. TOTAL COST was only $6.50 because I already had the frame lying around the house, already had the cardstock and the ribbon was on sale at Hobby Lobby. 
 Want to make your own?? SO cheap and easy! Here are the steps:
  1. Gather your supplies
    1. 11X14 picture frame ($3 or less walmart/dollar store)
    2. 3-4 pieces of 12X12 scrapbook paper ($.59/each)
    3. 2-3 pages 8 1/2 X 11 cardstock for meal cards ($.50/each?)
    4. 7 clothespins (pack of 24 is $3.47)
    5. 2 crayon boxes (mine are 24 ct, but 12 ct would work) ($.50-1.50/each)
    6. Embellishments like ribbon, brads (optional)
    7. Hot glue gun
  2. Take the glass out of the frame and take out the back board.  Arrange your scrapbook paper however you like and glue it on the board
  3. Turn the crayon boxes horizontal and cut out one side of the box.  Glue the ends together to keep the box from falling apart.  Cut out scrapbook paper to fit and cover the box
  4. Glue scrapbook paper to your clothespins.  I used mod podge and also covered the top with mod podge...kind of made them look more like they came that way. ;) Then I wrote the days of the week with a fine tip sharpee
  5. Before you glue the boxes and clothespins on, you might want to arrange it all with your meal cards to make sure everything is spaced correctly:
  1. Open a Word document and set the page layout to "2 columns" with .5 margins on all sides.  
  2. Type in the names all the meals you can think of that you make and that you'd be happy to make again. Include a couple that say EAT OUT, LEFTOVERS, SOMETHING NEW (in case you might want to try a new recipe that week) or I even put FROM THE FREEZER as one because I'll sometimes have a frozen meal from costco or something.  You should be able to fit 6 in each column, depending on your size and font
  3. If you liked my font, it's called Pea So Lovely, which you can download for free and my font sizes were anywhere from 30-43, depending on how long of a word.  The font for my box titles is Girls Are Weird, also downloadable for free. (tasted great was size 45 and cook me was size 60)
  4.  Once you have all your cards printed on cardstock and cut out, you need to write on the back of each one, the main ingredients and amounts...you do not have to write the entire recipe!  
  5. You can make your own printout of "What's For Dinner!" or you can right click on mine and save it to your computer.  (Thanks to my friend, Brittney!)
  6. Now you are ready to arrange everything on your board and then you can glue on your boxes and your clothespins with the hot glue gun!
  7. As far as hanging it, I would suggest to hang it with a nail or two on your wall, BUT I have NO wall space in my kitchen area, so I bought a $2.99 over the door wreath hanger and I put a thick ribbon through the hanger on the back of the frame, tied a TIGHT knot at the top then added a bow and it hangs there nicely for me.  I don't like the idea of it bouncing around every time the door opens, so I am on the hunt for some kind of adhesive to help hold it there. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gift Wrapping

Gift wrapping materials have been my nemesis for quite some time now. Currently, I keep all of it in this hallway closet. Yes, this closet has other problems, but my main focus is all that tissue paper, gift bags, etc: 
And then I saw it...a beautiful way to organize it all :  BUT I could not find one of these anywhere!!!!
FINALLY I found one online at Bed, Bath and Beyond and it looks just like it, do you think? 
But I'm so sad it is $35!!!!!!!!!  That is so much!!  Help! Do any of you have better (cheaper) ways to organize your gift wrapping supplies??

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A rule that I try hard to live by while I'm organizing:
  1. Have a place for everything! If something you own doesn’t have a place to be stored, it will always be out of place and causing clutter. Everything needs a home that is easily accessible so you can find it when you need it.
  I love that the rule includes to make sure that what you put away should be "easily accessible".  I think we all keep our dishes in the kitchen and not in the garage, right? Why? because that is where we use them!  of course! haha  Well, I say that works for everything.  My kids do most of their coloring or crafts on the kitchen table, so it did not work for me to keep these things down the hallway because I am lazy and would not walk down the hall to put them away. Instead, they would sit out on the table or counter for days!  Solution? I made space for those things in one of the kitchen cabinets! Never had a problem since!  I went to take a picture of this cabinet and noticed it had become a little messy, so I cleaned it out and wha-la.That was my job for the week. haha

(hope that makes sense!)  So your challenge for this week :  #1 Find an area of your house that is cluttered most often.  Figure out a way you can store those items close to that spot (because that is obviously the easiest place to leave them). #2 Make room for them in a cabinet or find a cute basket, box or bin .  Let me know if you find a solution for your cluttered area! Good luck!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blog Book

Do you keep a blog about your family?  I highly encourage you to get started on turning your blog into a book right away!!  OR, you might be inspired to start blogging today!  It's the beginning of a new year, a perfect time to start recording the memories of 2012 and look forward to turning into a book at the end of the year. Don't let another year go by without getting your photos organized!

Aren't they beautiful!? An entire year of family pictures and journaling packed into a cute hardcover book!  I thought that while I'm working on figuring out my next thing to organize, I would post about something that I've already done in the past.  I used to be an avid scrapbooker, but as I had more kids, I got WAY behind and it really stressed me out!  I started a family blog through www.blogger.com and when a year was through, I turned it into a book.  I've never been so excited....a way to ORGANIZE my photos that is easy for me!

There are 2 ways that I know of that are best for doing a book.  I used www.blurb.com where you are able to transfer your blog into book format and then customize it in a way that makes you happy.  There are many different sizes of books.  You can even transfer your 12X12 digital scrapbooking pages into a book. Easy!  My 8X10 book between 81-120 pages costed $47.95 plus shipping.  I will be honest though...it can take some time to customize your book.  The more you work on it, the faster you will get, but it can't be accomplished in one day. 
If you don't feel like you have the time to customize your book, there is another option : www.blog2print.com. This website also imports your blog into book format with only one size option, the 8X10.  And they lay it out just like your blog, with the captions in between pictures, etc. Super easy and it doesn't look too bad either.  My problem is that I couldn't figure out how to make pictures bigger if I wanted them to be...but again, if you are not too picky, then this is a great way to save some time! The 8X10 book of about 100 pages could be $52.95.

When you finish your book, you can delete all your pictures?! NO!  Pictures should be kept in 2 different places, if not 3 or 4.  You blog book is just ONE of these.  Once I've finished my blogging for the year, I put all of the pictures into a file labeled for that year.  These are kept on my computer, but then copies of these files are also on my external hard drive AND I burn them to a high quality dvd.
 I found the cutest box at Target for $14.99 to store my picture dvds! 

What do YOU do to organize your pictures??
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