Favorite Pantry

February 25, 2009

A random Favorite Things Friday post…I realized a couple of months ago, that I have never lived in a house long enough to need to re-organize anything. About the time that we got to the point of needing a little fresh organization in our home, we would move, which allows for re-organization in and of itself.
Since we have lived in this house almost three years now, it is time to make a few adjustments. I started with the pantry…
Since we have wire shelving in our pantry, I started out by having The Man cut very thin pieces of plywood to fit the shelves. I covered them in contact paper, and now small bottles don’t fall over, and the weight is a little more evenly distributed.
I also added baskets to contain things like bags of chips, granola bars, and small baking items.
I also put things like extra flour, sugar, and oats in plastic containers. I want to switch to all glass, but that will take time (and $).
I added a shelf of quart sized glass jars to contain snack items such as raisins, popcorn, nuts and trail mix, and The Man cut a couple of two by fours to give some heighth for the back row. Looks great, huh?
Finally, although my spices are in a different place in my kitchen, I count those as part of pantry organization. I added a couple of tiered lazy susans- one with sweet spices, and one with savory- to be able to see (almost) all spices at a glance. I used to keep them in a bin that I had to pull out every time I needed something.

In total, this project only cost about $20 (for the lazy susans, quart sized mason jars-which I actually already had, plywood and contact paper).

I usually think these kinds of things are pretty cheesy- and they are- but I really liked this one, and I wanted to share it with you.

Corinthians 13 Christmas Version
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, Strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, But do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, Preparing gourmet meals And arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, But do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home And give all that I have to charity, But do not show love to my family, It profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, Attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata, But do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, But is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, But rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, believes all things, Hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, Golf clubs will rust&But giving the gift of love will endure. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.
I’m posting this as my Works for Me Wednesday as a reminder to all of us-ahem, I mean myself- that my Christmas focus should not be on the hustle and bustle, but on HIM and others around us! Head on over to Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW tips.
In joy, Troye

Wish Books Work For Me

December 10, 2008

Last year for the boys’ Christmas wish lists, we got them each a poster board to glue cut out pictures of what they wanted for Christmas to. It worked well, but they were rather large and bulky (just in case you hadn’t noticed that about poster board).
This year The Man came up with the great idea to change our format to a composition notebook so that they could carry it around. Because I told them they could not start their wish lists until after Halloween, on November 1, I wrapped two composition in wrapping paper and then wrapped clear contact paper around that. This has been a sufficient covering for J-Man, my oldest.
I will upload a photo after they wake up because they sleep with these books. My youngest carries his with him everywhere! Therefore I have had to re-tape his a couple of times.
They know that the Sunday paper contains the wish papers, and they destroy my house every Sunday cutting out pictures of things to go in their wish book.
And, poor D-Man has things in his wish book like Cheetos, Pop Tarts, and Chips Ahoy. Sad, deprived little child gets homemade treats, and he wants the store bought stuff.
So, that Works For Me. I hope you get some use out of it too. Head on over to Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer and check out some other Works For Me Wednesday tips.

Easy Smoothies

October 15, 2008

For easy everyday smoothies, I keep plain yogart and frozen fruit on hand. Add a little honey and you’ve got a fabulous easy smoothie.
That’s it. It’s easy and it works for me.
Run on over to Rocks in My Dryer for some other Works for me Wednesday tips.

It works!

October 1, 2008

It’s Works for Me Wednesday time over at Rocks in My Dryer, and Shannon wants us to post kitchen organization tips. I feel like my kitchen is pretty organized, but I couldn’t think of any earth shattering tip to offer. So, instead, I will show off my new labeler. I purchase a lot of pantry items in bulk, and transfer them to these handy plastic containers, and now I can appropriately label them. I used to think a labeler was too expensive for me to own personally, and then I realized that you can get a decent one for under $20. It helps with organization in every room.

I have yet to start labeling my children’s underwear, but that is what the embroidery machine is for, right?
Check out Rocks In My Dryer for other Works for Me Wednesday kitchen organization tips…

Exciting News!

September 24, 2008

I just added that title so that y’all would open the post. How much more boring could this tip be?

It might be difficult to tell from this photo, but this is what Works For Me… When I load this dishwasher throughout the day, I like to sort my silverware. I especially like to separate large forks from salad forks and teaspoons from tablespoons. But I also separate the knives and serving utensils as well.

It makes the emptying process so much easier- even my five year old can do it.

Head on over to Shannon’s blog, Rocks in My Dryer to pick up some other useful tips today!

Works for Me Chore Chart

September 10, 2008

We started an allowance (or as we call it, a “commission”) at the beginning of the school year. I made a picture chore chart for Jonah, and he earns his commission of $2.50 each week. The top chores or “family jobs” are things that he does for no money. These are things that are just part being a member of the family:

  1. make bed

  2. brush teeth (arguably not a chore, I know, but it is a struggle in our house, so we decided to add it for now)
  3. feed dogs

These things are bare minimum. If he doesn’t do them every day, he does not earn his commission. But if he does only these things, he also does not get a commission. The logic here is that there are plenty of things that Chris and I do around the house without getting paid, and J needs to contribute as well.

Then there are the “commission jobs:”

  1. putting clean silverware away

  2. wiping countertops
  3. cleaning playroom (again, this is arguably a family job, but we decided it was a big enough task to earn $)

J gets checks for each time he does one of these commission jobs, and if he has reached 10 check marks- in addition to a daily mark for his family jobs- by Friday, he earns his commission.

Dave Ramsey recommends half of their age as an appropriate amount for their allowance, so we went with that. Plus, it makes the 10% increments easy. When he receives $2.50, a quarter goes in his tithe envelope, a quarter goes in his save jar, and $2 goes in his wallet. It has been interesting to find things that he can purchase with less than $2, but it is a good lesson in the value of $ as well. Also, we found out that you can purchase Happy Meal toys without the meal for $1.17. It’s the little things.

This is my Works for Me Wednesday tip, so head on over to Rocks In My Dryer for more helpful tips.

Works for me Recipes

July 2, 2008

Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer is hosting a five ingredient or less recipe swap today. I am always eager to share a recipe, especially in the toddler sense of the word, “share” (meaning you share with me).

Greek Style Tomatoes

a fabulous summer side dish

3-5 tomatoes, sliced

4 oz. feta, crumbled

2 oz capers, drained

salt and pepper to taste

Slice tomatoes and arrange on plate in a single layer. Salt and pepper to taste and then scatter the feta and capers on top.

Fresh basil is a fab addition to this dish as well.

And I did not intend to make this a feta themed post, but here is a main dish made with feta. Easy, inexpensive, and yummy. This is a great entertaining dish as well.

Feta Chicken Bake

3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts

4-6 oz. Sundried tomato or mediteranean style crumbled feta

salt, pepper, and lemon or lime

Place chicken in single layer in baking dish. Sqeeze with fresh lemon or lime, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Dump feta all over top, and bake at 350 for 3 to 45 min, depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts. Somtimes I have to cover with foil midway through cooking if the feta begins to turn brown. Enjoy!

Now, head on over to Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday Recipes.

For anyone who is still reading, I have a question. i made crystalized ginger yesterday, which was very easy, but it took me forever to peel the fresh ginger. Is there a trick to peeling ginger that I don’t know about? Please help me…

I’m an ADD cleaner

April 30, 2008

I hate clutter. The Man and I were just discussing last night how we tend to err on the side of giving something away or throwing it out rather than hanging in to it (just in case we might need it later). But, I cannot stand to have clutter sitting around. Now keep in mind that I have children. Clutter and children apparantly go hand in hand. There are days when I feel like it is out of control, and those always seem to be the days when we are having company. Funny how that happens, huh?
When I am feeling overwhelmed, I have a tendency to start in one room (usually the kitchen) and never make it to any other room in the house. So, I have to limit myself. I will set the timer, start in one room and work there until the timer goes off. No exceptions. Then I move to the next room and reset the timer. It Works for me. Head on over to visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer to find other Works for Me tips.

Nooks and Crannies

January 30, 2008

Even though I am off to a slow start on my reading list this year, I have had a lot of people lately ask me how I have time to read for pleasure. When I really think about it, my best answer is that I ALWAYS have a book with me and I read in the nooks and crannies of my day. I read in carpool lines (four a day), when I am meeting someone and arrive a couple of minutes early (rare, I know, but it does happen sometimes), and even at stoplights that I know are particularly long (and I rarely get honked at). 🙂 I also rarely watch television, so that becomes my reading time. So, if you really want to read more, pick up a good book and have fun looking for your “nooks and crannies.”

It’s Works for Me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer, so head on over for some more fabulous tips fromother readers…