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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Bring Spring Inside

Posted by on Apr 30, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off

Happy Monday to you all!  I hope you had a great weekend.  We really did!  Well today is the last day of this spring cleaning series!  There might be some area’s of your kitchen that we didn’t cover but thats okay, keep working on the area’s of your kitchen you want work on!  This summer I will be doing more posts on organizing also! But for today, I have one really fun and easy project for you today. If there is any challenge you do out of the last two weeks: it is this one!

Today’s challenge is to bring spring inside!

Today’s Objective

  •  If you have a garden, pick some flowers, put them in your favorite vase and brighten your kitchen with their presence.  
  • Or if you are like me and don’t have a garden, pick up some of your favorite flowers at your grocery store or nursery. 
  • Arrange your flowers in your vase and place them where ever you want in your kitchen. 
  • Then, sit down at your kitchen table (even if its for 5 minutes), turn on your favorite music, grab a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy your little 5 minutes break!
I’ve really enjoyed sharing with you my 2 week challenge, again I hope it inspired you to tackle an area of your kitchen that needed it and help make your kitchen just a little bit better! :)
The next two weeks, I’ll be sharing recipes, flower arrangements and gift ideas for Mother’s Day; be sure to stop back by!  Please feel free to subscribe by email or follow me on Facebook, so you never miss a post!
Till tomorrow, have a fabulous Monday everyone!

If you missed any of the posts from this  series or would like to start, here is a list of all the posts from this series:

  • Getting Started  - supply list
  • Day 1 - under the sink
  • Day 2 - utensil drawers
  • Day 3 - plates and cups
  • Day 4 - kitchen linens
  • Day 5 - pantry
  • Week 1 update  - spring cleaning after pictures
  • Day 6 - pots, pans and baking dishes
  • Day 7 – windows, windowsills and baseboards
  • Day 8 – oven, microwave and stove top
  • Day 9 – the miscellaneous cabinet
  • Day 10 – the Tupperware cabinet
  • Save the best for last – bring spring inside
What are your favorite flowers to buy or receive? Share in the comments!
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On the Menu for the Week of April 29th

Posted by on Apr 29, 2012 in On The Menu, Recipes | 5 comments

I’m so excited about this weeks menu. I found some great recipes to try this week from Danielle at cozycakescottage.com. She has some inspiring ones that I can’t wait to try!

Don’t these look super yummy!  I can’t wait to try this recipe!

photo credit

Breakfast

  • Granola, yogurt and strawberries
  • Baked Oatmeal and strawberries
  • 911 Sticky Buns, Eggs and strawberries
  • Scrambled Eggs, Toast and Pears x2
  • Banana Nutella Muffins, Fried Egg and Pears
  • Biscuits and Gravy with fruit salad (I’ll be sharing these recipes in my Mother’s Day Series Starting on Wednesday May 2nd)

Lunch

  • Grilled Ham, cheese and avocado sammie with pear gorgonzola salad (I love the pear gorgonzola salad dressing from Trader Joes!)
  • Chickpea and avocado sandwich and apple slices
  • Left overs
  • Mac n Cheese and peas
  • Chicken Salad Sandwich and sweet potato fries
  • PB&J sushi rolls and edamame (I’m so looking forward to this lunch!)

Dinner

For more recipe ideas for your menu this week check out some of my recipes on Pinterest.

What’s on your menu this week? Please share in the comments!

*This post is linked up to Menu Plan Monday.

 

 

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 10

Posted by on Apr 27, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off

Today is day 10, that means it’s the last big task for this spring cleaning series. It’s been fun to challenge myself and hopefully encourage you to clean and organize an area of your kitchen.  Today’s challenge isn’t to hard so it’s time to get started!

Today’s challenge is the the Tupperware cabinet. 

Today’s Objective

  • Start your spring cleaning at the time you planned on completing today’s challenge.
  • Set your kitchen timer to the amount of time you want to spend cleaning and organizing.
  • Turn on some music. 
  • Clear off one counter or kitchen island so there is nothing on it. 
  • Take everything out of the cabinet(s) and place them on to your cleared off surface. 
  • Wipe down the shelving and cabinet door with cleaner.
  • Sort through each item and determine if it should go in the trash, garage sale box or to another location.
  • Make sure you have lids to match all your plastic and glassware containers.  If not, recycle them.
  • Keep like items with like items. As you come along each item that doesn’t belong in the cabinet, place that item where you want it to live.
  • Let your space determine how much you can have in one area.
  • Aim to purge at least 5 items either to the trash or garage sale box. 
  • If there is something you notice you need, add it to the list we started last Monday.

Today’s tip 

  • Use a basket to store all of your plastic-ware lids. It will make it easier to find them, then being all around your cabinet.

 I’ll be back on Monday to wrap up this series with the last very fun challenge. I hope you will join me then and have a lovely weekend!

Hows your spring cleaning going? Share about your progress or what you would like to do in the comments! 

You can start your own spring cleaning 2 week challenge anytime!  Here are the previous posts:

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 9

Posted by on Apr 26, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off

Over the last two weeks as I have been purging, organized and relocating my kitchen items, I made this miscellaneous cabinet.  I literally threw everything in this cabinet items I didn’t know where they should go or if it was something I ready to say bye-bye to.  I didn’t mind what I looked like or what was in there because I planned to cover it this week.  My Little Buddy has been loving taking everything out of this cabinet too!  But today it’s going to be sorted and I can foresee some items high-tailing it out of here and jumping straight into the garage sale box! :)

Today’s challenge is to tackle that miscellaneous cabinet. 

Today’s Objective

  • Start your spring cleaning at the time you planned on completing today’s challenge.
  • Set your kitchen timer to the amount of time you want to spend cleaning and organizing.
  • Turn on some music.
  • Clear off one counter or kitchen island so there is nothing on it. 
  • Take everything out of the cabinet(s) and place them on to your cleared off surface. 
  • Wipe down the shelving and cabinet door with cleaner.
  • Sort through each item and determine if it should go in the trash, garage sale box or to another location.
  • Let your space determine how much you can have in one area.
  • Aim to purge at least 5 items either to the trash or garage sale box. 
  • If there is something you notice you need, add it to the list we started last Monday.

You can start your spring cleaning 2 week challenge and time! Here are the previous posts:

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 8

Posted by on Apr 25, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off

Good morning! It’s the middle of the week and it’s flying by! I have a question for you all today. When was the last time you cleaned the oven? I hate to admit it, but for me it’s been at least a year!  I know that’s quite awhile, but by the end of the day it will be squeaky clean! :) I’m going to try a homemade oven cleaner recipe today. If you try it too, let me know how well it worked for you.

Today’s Challenge is to clean the oven, stove and microwave. 

Today’s Objective

  • Start your spring cleaning at the time you planned on completing today’s challenge.
  • Set your kitchen timer to the amount of time you want to spend cleaning.
  • Turn on some music.  I love pandora on my iPad for listening to music!
  • Make homemade oven cleaner.
  • Take oven racks out of oven.
  • Start cleaning the oven.
  • Clean the stove top.
  • Clean the microwave. 

Do you have any tricks or easy way to clean the oven. Please share in the comments, I would suggestions!

You can start your spring cleaning 2 week challenge anytime! Here are the previous posts:

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 7

Posted by on Apr 24, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off

The cabinets in my kitchen are becoming a little more clean and organized each day.  The garage sale pile is growing too! :) How did yesterday go for you? Keep doing a little each day and you’ll be surprised how much you’ve accomplished when we get to end of the week!

Today’s challenge is to clean the windows, windowsills and baseboard of your kitchen. 

photo credit 

Today’s Objective 

  • Start your spring cleaning at the time you planned on completing today’s challenge.
  • Set your kitchen timer to the amount of time you want to spend cleaning and organizing.
  • Turn on your favorite music. I love Pandora on my iPad for listening to music.
  • Get out your vacuum, window cleaner, bucket, all purpose cleaner magic eraser  and wash cloth. 
  • Vacuum window tracks and perimeter of kitchen.
  • Clean windows with window cleaner.
  • Wipe out window tracks with wash rag.
  • Wash baseboards with magic eraser and/or wash cloth.

Okay, it’s time to get started! Have a great day and be sure to join me tomorrow for Day 8.  We are nearing the finish line!

Share in the comments how your spring cleaning is going? 

You can start your spring cleaning 2 week challenge and time! Here are the previous posts:

*Note: some links are my referral links. 

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 6

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off

Good Morning everyone! I hope you had a great weekend! Are you ready to start week 2? If you are just joining in feel free to start from day 1 or start with today’s challenge.

Today’s challenge is to clean out the cabinet where your pots, pans, baking dishes and baking sheets live. 

Today’s Objective 

  • Start your spring cleaning at the time you planned on completing today’s challenge.
  • Set your kitchen timer to the amount of time you want to spend cleaning and organizing.
  • Clear off one counter or kitchen island so there is nothing on it. 
  • Take everything out of the cabinet(s) and place them on to your cleared off surface. Put them into categories: pots, pans, baking sheets, ect. 
  • Wipe down the shelving and cabinet door with cleaner.
  • Sort through each item and determine if it should go in the trash, garage sale box or to another location.
  • Keep like items with like items. As you come along each item that doesn’t belong in the cabinet, place that item where you want it to live. Resist cleaning or organizing that area for now, we’ll get to it later!
  • Make a miscellaneous cabinet. Place all items you are not sure where to put them and place in this cabinet.  We will tackle that cabinet this week!
  • Let your space determine how much you can have in one area.
  • Aim to purge at least 5 items either to the trash or garage sale box. 
  • If there is something you notice you need, add it to the list we started last Monday.

All right, here is today’s challenge! Join me tomorrow for day 7!

You can start your spring cleaning 2 week challenge and time! Here are the previous posts:

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On The Menu for the Week of April 22

Posted by on Apr 21, 2012 in On The Menu, Recipes | 2 comments

Breakfast

  • Overnight oats and pears
  • Yogurt, granola and strawberries x 2
  • Omelet and strawberries
  • Baked Oatmeal  and pears
  • Carrot raisin muffins, pears and yogurt
  • Scrambled eggs, toast and fruit

Lunch

Dinner

*photo credit 

This post is linked to Organized Junkie – Menu Plan Monday.

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Update

Posted by on Apr 21, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | 2 comments

This week has definitely been a productive one!  I was able to get my whole list of spring cleaning done!  You’ve all motivated me to finish it! Even if you just tackled one area of your house this week or maybe making plans to do some spring cleaning,keep up the good work! I’m going  try to keep it short and simple today by just showing you my pictures.

Under the sink before.

Under the sink after! I use a shower curtain rod under my sink to hold the spray bottles and all the organization supplies in this cabinet I “found” in my house! I love the plastic drawer for storing my towels and dish rags.  Putting them here, freed up another space too! :)

Before all the utensils and flatware lived in 4 drawers.

Now they live among 3 drawers. I was able to completely empty the two drawers next to the stove. By purging a few items and then putting everything in these two drawers, it seems to work much better.

The flatware now lives next to the dishwasher! :)

My dishes relocated to the cabinet above the dishwasher.  I have to say I should have done that so much sooner! It really makes putting everything away so much easier!

It’s really bare now!  I packed all the sentimental items and left the dishes I don’t use every day in here.

Here are my kitchen linens before.

And here they are after. I didn’t get  rid of to much linens. I’ve paired down a lot over the past year.  I did get rid of one table runner and six orange placemats though. So it’s a little lighter in here.  Most of these table linens are sentimental, so I kept them and plan to use them often! :)

Here are the two pictures of the “pantry” before.

 Much better!

One less shelf to pack in this cabinet! :)

I find that shoe boxes are one of my favorite inexpensive storage solution.  You can find them for under a dollar and they house items well.  I took things out of their original packaging and placed them in each labeled container.

My second favorite inexpensive storage solution is repurposing a yogurt container.  A little scrapbook paper and a label and it’s like new!

Well that was my week of cleaning and organizing!

How was your week?  No matter what you did or would have liked to have done, please share in the comments what you’ve done or would like to accomplish in the next week.

You can start your spring cleaning 2 week challenge anytime! Here are the previous posts:

* I’ll be back on Monday with this weeks menu and the spring cleaning challenge for day 6! I hope you will join me!

 

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 5

Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off

If you are just joining me, I started a series on Sunday to clean and organize the kitchen in 2 weeks.  If you’d like to read from the beginning, start here.  If you are ready for today’s tips and challenge, keep reading. :)

Yes, today is the last day for this week! YAY.  I’m sure you’ve done a great job this week. Well I’ve got a big chore for you today. Depending on the size of your pantry it might take you longer then the other tasks this week have required.  I know it was for me.  I realized I had all of my pantry items spread out between 5 cupboards! Not really simple, huh?! But I had everything on each shelf by category. I’m a huge fan of like items with like items. Anyways, for my pantry makeover I came up with a plan to make it work well for moving. Today, I’m going to share with you what I did:

Pantry before

 I like having my spices next to the stove.  I use the counter space below this cabinet for prepping meals so it’s the perfect spot for them.  Also hiding in this cabinet is my baking supplies. Well, they have high-tailed it out of here and moved to their new location: the pantry!

 Now I know there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to planning out your pantry.  Everyone has a different size space.  Here are 3 organization steps that have helped me maximize my space and be more organized. I hope they will help you too!

#1. Organize by category 

Organizing your pantry by category might seem a little OCD; I understand. Especially if you’re a working mom short on time. But if you’re looking for a solution that will organize your pantry better, place things in categories. It will make your life that much easier in the long run and it’s really not that hard to do. You have to take it out to clean sometime, so you might as well organize it as it goes back in.

#2. Inventory what you have on hand

Start a list (by category) of what you have.  Make a excel spread sheet, use a phone app, or just a plain white piece of paper. When you realize what you have, it makes coming up with a storage solution that much better!

#3. Identify what storage solutions will work best for your space 

This is probably the hardest task.  One reason is organizational supplies are a billion dollar industry.  There are so many choices, how can you choose, right? But after you have organized your stuff by category and know what you have it should help you decide a little bit better.

The reason I believe having an organized pantry is important is because you’ll know what you have on hand, which in turn helps with menu planning and grocery shopping.  Which then helps you save time and money! Who wouldn’t want that?! 

Okay enough tips for today, your begging to get started right?!

Here is today’s objective. There are some new objectives added to the list today!

  • Start your spring cleaning at the time you planned on completing today’s challenge.
  • Set your kitchen timer to the amount of time you want to spend cleaning and organizing.
  • Clear off one counter or kitchen island so there is nothing on it. 
  • As you take everything out of the cabinet(s) and place them on to your cleared off surface, put them into categories: snacks, baking, flour, cereal, and so on. 
  • Start your inventory list as you take each item out as well. 
  • Wipe down the shelving and cabinet door with cleaner.
  • Sort through each item and determine if it should go in the trash, garage sale box or to another location.
  • Keep like items with like items. As you come along each item that doesn’t belong in this cabinet place that item where you want it to live. Resist cleaning or organizing that area for now, we’ll get to it later!
  • Make a miscellaneous cabinet. Place all items you are not sure where to put them in this cabinet.  We will tackle that cabinet next week!
  • Let your space determine how much you can have in one area.
  • Aim to purge at least 5 items either to the trash or garage sale box. 
  • If there is something you notice you need, add it to the list we started on Monday. 

The After Pictures

Need more inspiration, follow me on Pinterest for more pantry organization ideas. Follow Me on Pinterest

Join me tomorrow morning for all the pictures of the progress I made this week.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

You can start your spring cleaning 2 week challenge and time! Here are the previous posts:

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Play Kitchen Supply List

Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in DIY, Play Kitchen | 3 comments

Before….

Way back in the beginning I showed you my list of details for all the needed items for making the play kitchen.  That was before I bought everything.  Today I’m going to share the links to some of the materials we used.  One of the challenges of this project was where to find it all! If you are considering making a play kitchen I hope this post will help you find what you are looking for. This also marks the end of this DIY project, so if you have any questions please feel free to contact me for more info on it.

Lets get started!

Play Kitchen Structure 

  • Entertainment Center – We bought this on Craig’s List for $20.
  • Shelving – We re-purposed mix-matched shelving from Habitat for Humanity Store for $14.
  • Refrigerator Door – We re-purposed a cabinet door from Habitat for Humanity Store: $3.
  • Backing of the play kitchen was purchased from Lowes. We paid $10 dollars for the backing but we only used half of it.

Accessories

  • Curtains- The fabric was from Joann Fabric.  I bought one yard, I used a 40% off coupon and paid $4.
  • Curtain rod – I bought a wooden dowel from Wal-Mart for a whopping 29 cents!
  • Chalk Board – I re-purposed a cabinet door from Habitat for Humanity Store.  I paid 2 dollars for it.
  • Pots, rolling pin, spatulas, measuring spoons, salt and pepper shakers – I purchased from the dollar store.  Total price for all items $5.
  • Kitchen towel – This is from Kohls, which I got for free from a 10 dollar off any purchase coupon!
  • Refrigerator and oven lights - We bought these ones from amazon for 6 dollars.
  • Phone - This was my first phone when I was growing up. I decided I didn’t need it any more and LOVE the idea that my nieces get to play with it now!

Hardware

  • Refrigerator Door Handle -  We bought this at Lowes in the hardware department.  It was actually one of our most pricey items.  But I loved the finish and style! This handle was $7.
  •  Oven Door Handle  -This handle was $5.
  • Wood Screws – We bought a multipack from Lowes for $5.
  • Hinges (for the oven door) – We bought coordinating finishes to match the kitchen sink and door hardware from Lowes.  The hindges were 2 dollars.

Paint, Glue and Painting Supplies

  • Gorilla Glue - Bought from Joann’s for 6 dollars.
  • Mod Podge
    - Bought from Joann’s for $10
  • Primer - We used water based primer and bought it at Lowes for $20.
  • Paint – We bought our paint from Lowes; it was $30.  The color we used was Martinique Dawn.
  • Foam Roller 
  • Air Spray Paint Gun - we bought a small one from Ebay for $15.  It worked great for our project (does require an air compressor though).
  • Spray Paint  - I bought white, black and silver at Lowes and Walmart.  Total cost for spray paint was $12.
  • Clear Coat – We bought this at Lowes for $15.
Sink
  • Faucet - Bought at Wal-Mart for $10.
  • Sink – We used a bowl purchased for $1 from the dollar store.
Oven 
  • Door – shelving from Habitat for Humanity Store (included in the shelving price mentioned above).
  • Window - Plexiglass from Lowes.  We ended up using one piece on the front and one on the back.  Each piece cost $2.  We ended up having to buy 4 pieces because it cracks easily when you drill through it.  We warmed up the plexiglass in a bucket of hot water before drilling through it and used a low heat hair dryer while we drilled the holes and the plexiglass didn’t crack!  Our total price was $8 but with this tip I’m sure you could cut that cost in half.
Stove Top
  • Ceiling Fan Plate Covers  - We used these as the stove top burners. I primed them, then painted them charcoal grey. We got these for 75 cents a piece at the Habitat for Humanity Store.
  • Appliance Knob  - We made our own appliance knobs out of these wooden knobs. You can read about how we did that here. 
Utensil Rack and Holder for Curtain Rod
Wood Shop Tools – all of these items we were able to borrow from friends and family.
  • Air compressor- borrowed
  • Table Saw - borrowed
  • Sander-borrowed
  • Jig saw- borrowed
Misc Items
  • Sandpaper - We bought 100, 150 and 220 grit aluminum oxide sand paper from Lowes.  Total cost for sand paper was 9 bucks.
  • Picture frame – We bought a plain black picture frame at the dollar store to be the “window” for the play kitchen.
Well I think that is about it!  A lot of supplies, time and effort goes into making a play kitchen. But if you are ready to tackle your first play kitchen, it’s something you can do!  If you haven’t already, read my post on 5 things to consider when making a play kitchen.  It will give you the steps to go for it! When it’s all finished, you’ll be glad you did.
Until our next DIY project, thank you so much for reading and following my journey through my first BIG DIY project.  It was a blast to do and I can’t wait for the next one!
                                                                                                                                     After!!!
*Note – Some of the links in this post are my referral links. 
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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 4

Posted by on Apr 19, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off

Wow! Yesterday was a very productive day for me. I was able to clean the hutch and rearrange the dishes to the cabinet above the dishwasher.  I’m aiming to have the things that I use and wash daily near the dishwasher.  I know it might seem like this is the wrong time to move everything around but I think the next 4 weeks in my house will be enjoyable with everything in one spot: clean and organized!  Plus it will help the movers pack everything up easily; well I hope. :) I’ll definitely be showing you all the progress I made this week on Saturday morning.

Ready for today’s challenge?

Today’s challenge is to sort through and organize kitchen linens, towels, and dish cloths.

Today’s Objective

  • Start your spring cleaning at the time you planned on completing today’s challenge.
  • Set your kitchen timer to the amount of time you want to spend cleaning and organizing.
  • Clear off one counter or kitchen island so there is nothing on it. 
  • Take everything out of the cabinet(s) and place them on to your cleared off surface.  Check other areas (besides the kitchen) of your home to see if kitchen linens are living somewhere else.
  • Wipe down the shelving and cabinet door with cleaner.
  • Sort through each item and determine if it should go in the trash, garage sale box or to another location.
  • Keep like items with like items. As you come along each item that doesn’t belong in this cabinet place that item where you want it to live. Resist cleaning or organizing that area for now, we’ll get to it later!
  • Make a miscellaneous cabinet. Place all items you are not sure where to put them in this cabinet.  We will tackle that cabinet next week!
  • Let your space determine how much you can have in one area.
  • Aim to purge at least 5 items either to the trash or garage sale box. 
  • If there is something you notice you need, add it to the list we started on Monday. 
Today’s Tip
  • Designate a convenient and purposeful location for your kitchen linens to live. There might be multiple places you keep table linens, towels, and dish cloths.  I know I do.  My towels and dish cloths live under the sink (now), place mats and table cloths live in a small coffee cart in my dining room, and my cloth napkins spend their time hanging out next to the flatware.

Whether you are cleaning the kitchen or other areas of the house, how is your spring cleaning going?  Share in the comments! 

Spring cleaning 2 Week Challenge Previous Posts

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 3

Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off

If you are just joining me, this week we started a spring cleaning two week challenge you can start here if you’d like.  If you are continuing on with me, how did yesterday go?  I was able to downsize two drawers and move things a little closer to the dishwasher to make even easier to put the dishes away!  I’ll be sharing all my “after” pictures on Saturday so stay tuned for that! :)

One of my favorite pieces of furniture in my house is my hutch.  I use it every day since my dishes live there.  My husband surprised me with it a few years back and I’ll always cherish that surprise.  And since  I love it so much, I really should clean it! :)

So today’s spring cleaning challenge is cleaning out the buffet, hutch and/or kitchen cabinet where your plates live.

Today’s Objective Is:

  • Start your spring cleaning at the time you planned on completing today’s challenge.
  • Set your kitchen timer to the amount of time you want to spend cleaning and organizing.
  • Clear off one counter or kitchen island so there is nothing on it. 
  • Take everything out of the cabinet.
  • Wipe down the shelving and cabinet door with cleaner.
  • Sort through each item and determine if it should go in the trash, garage sale box or to another location.
  • Keep like items with like items. As you come along each item that doesn’t belong in this cabinet place that item where you want it to live. Resist cleaning or organizing that area for now, we’ll get to it later! :)
  • Let your space determine how much you can have in one area.
  • Aim to purge at least 5 items either to the trash or garage sale box. 
  • If there is something you notice you need, add it to the list we started yesterday
Today’s Tip
  • If something you come along is sentimental: display it that way you can see it daily.  If it is something you are considering getting rid of,but having a hard time parting with it, try to choose it’s owner.  Is it an item a friend of yours could use?  Is it an heirloom a family member would cherish as much as you do?  Give it them and let them enjoy it as much as you have! :)

Alright, it’s that time get ready to tackle todays challenge.  And of course don’t forget to join me tomorrow, we have two days left this week to do some spring cleaning!

What are some organization tips you have? Please share in the comments.  

Next Post:

Day 4

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Gratituesday – Friends

Posted by on Apr 17, 2012 in Gratituesday, Our Life | 5 comments

I’ve realized a lot lately how important friends are.  They are a great source of encouragement, they motivate you and the love you. Since having my son, I’ve counted on them in so many ways.  Whether it’s learning how to organize my day, ask them about a rash, or just learning the ropes of mommy-hood.  Soon, we will live states away, so I’ve been really trying to spend as much time with everyone as possible before we leave.  It’s crazy it’s taken me to move, to get me so motivated to make plans weekly.  Life is busy right?! But you need friends and today I’m thankful for them!

This past weekend, we had a little girls night in at my friend Amanda’s house.  Our husbands watched the kiddos. It was a nice quiet evening with friends.

Amanda made us a yummy dinner.

We chit chatted about our week. Then we did a little craft project making coaster.

Here is a picture of my coasters that I made for my friend Carrie.

I’m so thankful for all my friends.  Thank you for loving, motivating and encouraging me all the time!

What are you grateful for today?  Please share with me in the comments!

This post is linked up to Heavenly Homemakers Gratituesday.

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 2

Posted by on Apr 17, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | Comments Off

On Sunday, I started a spring cleaning 2 week challenge.  I was able to get under the sink done and now I’m ready to tackle today’s challenge.  How did yesterday go for you?  Are you ready for today?  Well here it is!

Today’s challenge is to clean out the drawers that have utensils and silverware in them. 

Don’t worry about the other drawers such as the: linen, towels, wash cloths, or junk drawers today.  We’ll get to those.  Definitely look in them to see if any spare utensils are hiding in there, but don’t worry about sorting them today.

Today’s objective for cleaning out the drawers.

  • Set your timer to the designated time you want to spend cleaning.
  • Clear off one counter or kitchen island so there is nothing on it. 
  • Start by taking everything out of the drawers.  As you take them out, place them into groups on your counter: spatulas with spatulas, serving spoons with serving spoons and so on.  This is going to show you what you have and help you decide what to keep, toss in the garage sale box or trash.  It also will help determine what you need to replace. (If you have older children, have them help
  • Then clean inside of the drawers with your all purpose cleaner.
  •  It’s time to see how much needs to return to each drawer. Consider how many you really need of each item.  You know your family the best and what you realistically need.
  • Aim to purge of at least 5 items either to the trash or the garage sale box.
  • Take this time to see if your utensils would be better in a more convent place.  Such as silverware close to the dishwasher or spatulas next to the stove.  Ask your family members if their is a spot they would like things to be.  Especially if they help you out in the kitchen often!
  • Return what you are keeping to drawers and let your space dictate how much you can have.

Today’s Tips

  • If something is sentimental and your not sure what to do about it.  Maybe purge something that is newer or something that you purchased.  Use that kitchen utensil that was your grandmothers instead.  What a great way to remember your family member as you cook!
  • Start a list (either on a piece of paper or phone app) of items you need to replace.  Then be looking in sale ads for the best deal on those replacement items. I have spatulas that are 12 years old that need to be replaced: thats on my list! :) I use the Evernote ap on my iPhone to keep a running list.
Remember if you work full time, have really young ones at home, or life is just busy I encourage you to find a specific time that will work the best for you and your family. This task of spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a daunting one.  Make it fun. Put on your favorite music and  have a family member help! If you’ve worked all day, don’t feel that you have to come home an clean, but maybe plan it for the weekend or 15 minutes in the evening after dinner.  Do what works best for you and your season in life! 
Alright, well there is today’s challenge. I’m sure you will do a great job!  Join me tomorrow for Day 3 of this Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge.
What are some organization tip you have? Please share in the comments. 
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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge – Day 1

Posted by on Apr 16, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | 2 comments

Yesterday, I asked you to join me in a Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge.

Today’s challange is to clean under the sink. 

Today’s tips for cleaning under the sink: 

  • Start your spring cleaning at the time you planned on completing today’s challenge.
  • Set your kitchen timer to the amount of time you want to spend cleaning and organizing.
  • Take everything out of the cabinet.
  • Wipe down the shelving and cabinet door with cleaner.
  • Sort through each item and determine if it should go in the trash, garage sale box or to another location.
  • Keep like items with like items. As you come along each item that doesn’t belong under the sink, place that item where you want it to live. Resist cleaning or organizing that area for now, we’ll get to it later! :)
  • Only keep what you use daily or weekly!  If you have a ton of stuff under the sink that you haven’t used in years, consider tossing it out or donating them. Last time I was in Habitat for Humanity Re-Store I noticed they take donated household cleaning products.  (Just contact them first to make sure that specific Re-Store in your area takes donated products.)
  • Try to get rid of at least 3 to 5 things today.
Remember if you work full time, have really young ones at home, or life is just busy I encourage you to find a specific time that will work the best for you and your family. This task of spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a daunting one.  Make it fun. Put on your favorite music and if you have toddlers or preschoolers find some way they can help.  If you’ve worked all day, don’t feel that you have to come home an clean, but maybe plan it for the weekend or 15 minutes in the evening after dinner.  Do what works best for you and your season in life! 
Alright, ready set go! Enjoy your day and don’t work too hard cleaning under the sink! :)

I’ll be back tomorrow with the challenge for Day 2.

What are some tips you can share about organizing? 

Next Post:

Day 2 

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Spring Cleaning 2 Week Challenge

Posted by on Apr 15, 2012 in Organization, Spring Cleaning | 2 comments

Since writing my post on organizing my freezer it has motivated me to tackle the rest of the kitchen! And since I’m getting ready to move in just a couple of weeks, I need to start cleaning and getting the house ready for the movers and for the new owner!   My  game plan is to spend at least 20 minutes a day for the next two weeks to get rid of anything we do not need to take with us. Also, I want to do a thorough clean; along with organizing and tossing out some of my pantry items.

For the next two weeks, starting tomorrow, I will post the a daily challenge by 7 am PST.

My challenge to you is to join me in this spring cleaning 2 week challenge.  You may not be moving, but maybe you need to get rid of some pantry items, downsize that tupperware cabinet  or clean out all the crumbs from the silverware drawer.  Each day I’ll give some tips of how I organize and de-clutter.

If you work full time or have really young ones at home, I encourage you to find a specific time that will work the best for you and your family. This task of spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a daunting one.  Make it fun. Put on your favorite music and if you have toddlers or preschoolers find some way they can help.  If you’ve worked all day, don’t feel that you have to come home an clean, but maybe plan it for the weekend or 15 minutes in the evening after dinner.  Do what works best for you! :)

To get ready for this weeks spring cleaning challenge, here is a list of supplies you might need:

  • Set up a garage sale box or goodwill box in your kitchen.  Let it live there for the next two weeks while doing this challenge.
  • Trash Bag(s) (you may need a few) :)
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser  (I absolutely love these!)
  • Wash rag
  • Bucket
  • Spray Mop  (This my favorite mop! )
  • Mrs. Meyer’s All Purpose Cleaner (I usually make my own, but if I buy it this one is my favorite!)
  • Broom and dust pan

All right, gather your supplies and then join me tomorrow for your first challenge!

Next post:

Day 1 

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On the Menu for the Week of April 15

Posted by on Apr 15, 2012 in On The Menu, Recipes | 1 comment

I hope you are all having a great weekend so far.  If you are in need of a great breakfast item this week, try the baked oatmeal on my meal plan.  We had it for the first time last week and it’s a new family favorite around here!

Yummy baked oatmeal!

Breakfast

  • Scrambled eggs, sausage and strawberries x 2
  • Baked Oatmeal and pears (This is one of our new favorites f or breakfast!)
  • Quick Oats and kiwi
  • Pancakes, strawberry jam and fried eggs
  • Quiche and tangerines ( I use this dough recipe for the crust.)
  • Pumpkin Carrot raisin muffins, yogurt and pears

Lunch

  • Pigs in a blanket and smoothie
  • Hamburger and peas
  • Tuna melt and kiwi coconut shake
  • PB&J and carrots
  • Left overs
  • Chicken sandwich and apple slices

Dinner

Dessert/Freezer Cooking

Healthy Reeses peanut butter cups  (next family favorite!)
This post is linked up with Menu Plan Mondays.

 What’s on your menu this week? 

 

 

 

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Play Kitchen: 5 Things to Consider When you Tackle Your DIY Project

Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 in DIY, Play Kitchen | Comments Off

Back in January of this year, I thought it was a great idea to tackle my first big DIY project.  I’ve learned so much in doing this fun project and I think it’s the first of many to come.  Many have already asked what is next.  Although, we do have some ideas, we are taking a break from big DIY projects because we’re moving from one coast to another very shortly.  Today though,  I wanted to share with you 5 things I learned along the way and encourage you to tackle your DIY project as simple as possible!

#1. Set a realistic budget 

When I first saw pictures of DIY play kitchens, I thought surely it doesn’t take that many supplies.  Well after at least 25 total trips to Lowes, Home Depot, Joann’s, Michael’s, Wal-Mart, Habitat for Humanity and the dollar store, I have to say that DIY play kitchens require a lot more than you think.  Believe it or not we even had a lot of things on hand but still found ourselves running to the store pretty frequently.  So, make sure you set a realistic budget by cushioning that budget so you don’t go over!

Shop sales, use coupons and borrow tools from neighbors, friends and family!  Also, ask stores if they offer any discounts: military, police or medical. Some might just give you a discount for asking, especially small family owned businesses. Shop second hand store, garage sales and Craig’s List. It really helps keep you within your target budget! Every dollar saved is one less spent!

#2. Set a realistic time frame to complete your project

I started planning in January and Finished by April 6th.  I thought I would have it done super fast, but realistically life is busy and I’m so glad I planned the months I did.  I was able to finish on time (with tons of help from my husband!) because we allowed plenty of time to complete it!

Really consider what you have time for and how you will incorporate your project into your weekly routine.

#3. Set realistic weekly goals

Every Saturday I planned out what needed to be done that week to stay on my time line.  Sometimes I had to research longer or spend more time browsing at different stores to find the best solution or price.  I tried hard to give myself only 3 tasks each week, that way I didn’t seem stressed or burdened by doing this project.

If you are already use to setting weekly goals, great!  If not, just jot down on a post it note or piece of paper your short list for the week.  Put it in a visible place like the refrigerator.  Resource it throughout the week, even if you don’t get it all done, just checking one or two things off the list makes you one step closer to finishing!

#4. Ask for help and know what you are good at

I took  wood shop when I was in 7th grade.  Which is equivalent to no experience at all! :) And considering I am quite a few years away from being 12, I don’t even remember what I learned! But thankfully I have a husband who did a lot more wood work growing up and really enjoys power tools! Asking for his help during this project was the only way I could have  completed this project!  I felt I was better at planning, decoration, shopping and sewing, than the other qualities that were needed.  So it was the perfect balance to complete this!

We also could not have done this with out our neighbor Brian helping us and loaning us his air compressor (ours broke at the beginning of this project), table saw and his brain for trouble shooting!

#5. Make it fun

I can’t stress this enough, but I’ll be completely honest, sometimes the play kitchen and I didn’t like each other.  I had set my expectations high and then when something didn’t turn out right, I was disappointed.  So I’m learning to just laugh at the mess ups, the flops and failures, you’ll be surprised how much better  ”you” and the project turn out!  One way we had fun doing this project is, we took a date night to Lowes and Walmart.  I know, super exciting huh!  But it was a nice little date.  Have you ever taken a toddler shopping at Lowes before? Then you know how nice it is to go shopping without one! :)  Find ways to have fun as you tackle your DIY project.  It’s the best part of life!

 

Well these are my top 5 things to consider when tackling a DIY project. Next week, I’ll wrap this series up by sharing  the supply list and products I used during this project! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Have you ever done a DIY project?  What are some tips you learned during your project.  Please share in the comments! 

 

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Toddler in the Kitchen – What to do with all those eggs!

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Fun, Toddler in the Kitchen | Comments Off

Last week while I was making my son’s Easter basket, I was thinking about what to put in each egg.  He is only 16 months old and candy was not something I really wanted him to eat.  So I added bunny graham and cheddar crackers to the plastic eggs for his basket.  Later that day, we were getting ready to head out for a lunch date with our good friend Heather and I decided to put Little Buddy’s fruit and veggie portions into the plastic eggs.  I’m so glad I did.  At the restaurant he loved trying to figure out how to open them. When he did, he had a nice little surprise: his favorite meal time snacks!  And although Easter is over, you don’t have to throw out those plastic eggs yet, especially if you have a little toddler at home, they might enjoy this activity for a few more weeks! :)

Here is what you need:  

  • 3 small plastic eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of peas
  • 5 Annie’s Bunny Crackers
  • 1/2 a tangerine
  • A happy toddler

Here is a list of some other food items you could use instead of the above ingredients: 

  • Raisins
  • Sliced bananas
  • Diced carrots softened
  • Diced apples pealed and softened
  • Gold Fish Crackers
  • Dried cranberries or blueberries

Directions

  • Place each ingredient, in each egg, then close the egg.
  • Give the plastic filled egg, one at a time, to your toddler to play with. Enjoy watching them figure out how to open it.  When they do they get a nice little surprise! (Make sure you supervise your child as they play with the plastic egg.)

Child development is something I love learning about as a parent.  Although, I took some classes in college it’s so much better first hand!  Since fun activities teach children (and parents!), I noticed my Little Buddy worked on fine motor skills and problem solving while he did this activity. :)

So before tossing those plastic eggs, try this little activity next time you are fixing a meal at home, out for a picnic at the park or a trip to a restaurant. If you have a busy little toddler like me, you’ll be glad you tried it! :)

Whether it’s a toddler activity or something else, do you have any fun and creative ideas to repurpose those plastic eggs?
 I’d love to hear your ideas, please share them in the comments. 

 

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