Tag Archive for: organizing

The Days of Seclusion: Plans for the week(s)

How are you my friends? It’s been awhile – work all of a sudden got really really busy and I haven’t blogged in ages. Hats off tto you working mamas, it is so freaking hard! I have been a stay at home mom ever since the girls were born, basically a decade. I had always stayed active, gardening, taking care of kids as my husband works very late hours, volunteering, working here and there as a stylist or decorator but working every single day and most weekend is a different ball game entirely! It was a huge adjustment for everyone, and I really hadn’t yet found a good balance before this COVID virus came and halted everything. Our oldest had had a postnasal drip beginning of March and of course both my husband and I picked it up. His seems to be a cold but mine progressed to bronchitis. Luckily I was able to get my meds and while I am still dead on the couch with a pounding headache, I am hopeful that this will be over soon. Cause I have ton of stuff to do at home and I want to get to it already!

  1. COOKING AND BAKING

I relied a lot of Trader Joe’s frozen foods while busy at work. I can’t wait to actually cook. I stocked up on vegetables and herbs and insane amount of garlic. Also, I ended up buying this book after seeing him cook on YouTube some of the recipes. They all looked delicious.

He talks about basic skill sets you need to have, I am a fairly competent cook but still haven’t successfully poached an egg, so I’ll find this useful I am sure. Ramsey covers cooking for crowds, cooking in advance, cooking for 2 and I really liked his pasta recipes. I alreadt made the butternut squash hummus with pita chips. It wasn’t bad, I used a lot more lemon and seasonings but the family liked, suprisingly even the girls. Got to warn you though that all his measurements are in metric, I ended up buying this measuring cup to help me along.

 

My other favorite cookbook is Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat – I guarantee this will make you a better cook. She discusses how to build flavor, how to put recipes together and what is absolutely essential for correct techniques. Great gift idea also.

2. GARDENING

I know its only March but there is a ton you can do right now. I had hoped to use the quiet dormant months of January and February to plan out my garden but alas the best laid plans. I have sworn to stop lollipop gardening – buying one pretty plant because I couldn’t resist and popping it down somewhere. You must, repeat after me, always buy in 3s and then stagger them in your beds. Ideally you’d also use no more than 3 colors per bed for continuity.

Here are the March garden chores by Wilton Garden Club’s president Nancy Greeley:

– Cut back dead foliage from perennials (if not already done the prior fall).
– Cut back evergreen or otherwise-persistent perennial foliage. Leaves of European ginger (Asarum europaeum), Helleborus, and Epimedium, for instance, will soon be replaced with a fresh flush. Yes, the plant will do just fine even if you leave it on, but many with early blooms will look better without all the nasty old foliage.

– Prune bushes — roses, hydrangeas, boxwoods, hollies, etc.
– Clear out fallen branches from garden beds.
– Rake debris carefully off beds that hold earliest bloomers first, like where bulbs are trying to push up through leaves. – Cut down ornamental grasses right at the base. Mice and other garden undesirables find them to be a cozy nest, so get rid of them.

-Empty bird houses and wear gloves while at it.

– Put up peony hoops.
– Order bulk mulch and begin to mulch gardens. – Repair fencing and raised beds.
– Sharpen tools.

3. ORGANIZING

I can probably pack away the ski clothes and heavier coats. And maybe see what fun things are hiding in the back of my pantry, read expiration dates etc. Go through the medicine cabinet and toss all random vitamins I have acquired and not used.

Here’s couple of posts on organizing, hope you find these helpful.

BEST PRODUCTS FOR ORGANIZING YOUR KITCHEN

PANTRY ORGANIZATION

HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR CLOSET

 

Go forth and be productive!

x

-haiku

Best products for organizing your kitchen!

Hi there, it’s January which means all the largesse of December is over and we are all exercising and organizing. I miss December. I know a lot of us have less than ideal kitchens, so I wanted to share some tips on how to make your kitchen more funtional. Some of these projects take no time to implement, others require more effort but I tell you, getting your kitchen organized will make your day to day life SO much easier. If you don’t know where to start, open your cabinets and look at everything. Are things grouped in a way that makes sense? Are pots and pans stored near the stove? Coffee mugs close to the coffee machine and sink? Is bread stored close to the toaster? Organize first and then start thinking how can I store these items better? Hope these ideas help!

Our kitchen is large but built in 1978, it is definitely a challenge to work with at times. It’s large and has a lot of counter space but there are almost no drawers and cabinets are cavernous. The previous owners put in a marble countertops and white subway backsplash which makes it look better but it isn’t very functional.

Property

Here’s what I used to organize my kitchen. The very first issue I had was that there was a trash compactor which I had no desire to grapple with. I had my handyman remove the compactor and build a simple pullout base with a door and ordered these Rev-A-Shelf pull out containers.

These trash can inserts come in every color and are really handy.

Then I moved the paper towels off the counters and mounted the paper towel holder under the cabinets so it’s out of sight but right next to the sink. You can also mount it directly onto the bottom of the upper cabinets. I’ve used this holder in 2 of my homes and really like it.

I have a lot of space under the sink and I decided that I could that space to store my root vegetables and onions. I divided it into half, one for the pull out sliding container for veggies and the other half for cleaning products.

I’m using Container Store Elfa Medium Mesh Easy-Glider which you can find here. If you are storing shallots, garlic etc in there you must get a mesh container otherwise it’ll be a hot mess. Installing it is pretty easy, just a few screws and you are in business. I really recommend getting the one that you attach to the bottom of the cabinet otherwise it will shift EVERY time you pull it out.

&

These Rev-A-Shelf 2-tier pull out containers are great for  storing and organizing cleaning supplies, pots and pans, bowls etc. Measure – measure – measure! These come in several sizes and can be attached to the bottom, back or the side of the cabinet.

I added a towel rack onto the left door as there’s plenty of clearance for that.

These little door storage trays are so useful, if you have space those can go on any cabinet door for spices, bottles, condiments etc. Im using these for storing most used cleaning supplies and brushes.

Also love this pot organizer for storing your pots and pans with their lids.

Cutting board storage

All my tea bags were corralled into this handy container:

Coffee is decanted into this container, it’s airtight, comes with a scoop and is narrow enough that it fits right next to my tea caddy:

I like to use tall narrow containers to maximize the space I have for storing flour, sugar, grains etc. If your shelves aren’t very deep, maybe a more square and wider container would be a better fit. I like these plus they come with chalkboard labels already!

Now for organizing things like nuts and chocolate chips I use smaller containers that are stackable such as these.

The Lazy Susan turntable may be the unsung hero of all organized kitchens! I have several in my corner cabinets, upper shelves, and in the fridge also! Once again, measure several times, these come in different sizes, so you just need to make sure it will fit your space.

I use this one in the fridge

 

And last but not least: sponge caddy! I love that i can stick it into the sink so it’s not visible.

I hope you found some of these recommendations helpful. Let me know if you have any questions or have found some other profucts not mentioned here that were useful!

Till the next time!

x

-h

How to really organize your refrigerator

I saw an article in WSJ called “Yes, you can Marie Kondo your refrigerator” which was accompanied by this beautiful photo of Kristen Hong’s fridge.

Dr Joel Fuhrman nutritarian diet what Dr Michael Greger How Not to Die Diet Vegan Keto Whole30 Fridge WFPB plant based copy

I looked up her blog and it’s awesome, lots of healthy veggie centric recipes and lots of insta worthy pics of her fridge. I’ve tried to do this and it looked amazing. For like a day. Before kids got in there, before I cooked dinner and hubs went looking for greek yoghurt. What’s the point of decanting orange juice into a prettier bottle or putting blueberries into a different container. Unless you wash them first, which means you have to lay them all out to paper towels to dry completely before refrigerating, otherwise it will be a moldy mess in a minute. I have 2 refrigerators and neither looks like this. This is currently the state of affairs


Ok? I am due to clean both fridges out but before I get there, let me tell you why the first photo and all the others you see on Instagram don’t work and what to copy. I do dislike these insta photos, fun to look at but so unrealistic. As you can see she only has one row of containers, nothing is in the back. So basically the entire family eats nothing but fruits and vegetables for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Good for them. That’s not my family and I am guessing not yours either! Here’s what to copy!

  1. Cutting up vegetables and fruits, in moderation. First and foremost, unless you are getting ready to make bulk quantities of gazpacho, this isn’t going to last you more than 3 days. Strawberries cut up will dry up or get moldy within 3 days max, ditto cucumbers etc. However, cutting up melons etc makes sense. I do also cut up some strawberries and toss other fruit on the plate and just put it out on some afternoons or weekend breakfasts, kids will eat them if they are ready on the counter. I do cut up vegetables but not all of them! 1 pepper, some broccoli, radishes etc for us to snack on with hummus or bit of ranch dip. If you have it ready on the counter, no-one will get the chips out.
  2. Assign different food groups a set place. I’ve tried to do it but am not sure it shows, LOL. Eggs and dairy on the left, fruits on the right.
  3. Using uniform containers. Its not a must, any container will do but it will look s much prettier and more professional. Container Store is selling these and I am tempted to buy some, I like that they have clear lids so you can see what’s in there. Not cheap at $4.99 – $8.99 each but have great reviews.

Lustroware Crystal Clear Rectangular Food Storage

4. Put the herbs in a glass of water. Basically like flowers in the vase, they’ll keep longer.

5. Personalize your fridge. My main fridge is ridiculously deep, I can’t see what’s in the back or reach it without climbing halfway in. I used a Lazy Susan (amazon, container store or local TJ Maxx will have these, measure first) and some larger clear bins.

 Adjust the shelves so that all tall items can be on one spot etc. If you keep wines in your fridge, get this.


I actually thought Khloe Kardashian’s fridge was more realistic than most Insta ones. And she has staff!