Friday, July 19, 2013

Seashell Wreath

I made this seashell wreath earlier this week and I love it!  I bought this wreath ages ago at a thrift store (I think) and it has been sitting in the closet so I thought it was about time it got used!  The seashells came with a candle holder we got for our wedding but I didn't use them.  I wanted to make a fun beachy wreath after coming back from the beach a couple weeks ago.  I looked at hundreds of pictures on Pinterest before deciding to just make it instead of trying to make it look just like one someone else had made.

I laid out the seashells first then just started hot-gluing.  I had a lot of the white shells so I added another row.   

 A few 'special' seashells deck out one of the sides.
Such a simple, easy wreath and I LOVE it! :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kitchen Organization

My husband and I (like others, hopefully) have the same discussion almost nightly, "What do you want for dinner?" because we don't have anything planned.  We stand there, stomachs growling, with nothing thawed out, and as I always say, "nothing quick and easy" to fix.  We both are guilty of never planning ahead, although we have had good intentions in the past.  We have discussed, over and over, our grocery budget, meal planning, and eating what we have.  I always say we have a house full of food, but nothing to eat.  Anyone with me on this?  It seems like we always buy groceries but don't buy for meals.  So even when we finally do decide what we want, we are missing ingredients or have to try and thaw out super frozen chicken.

Hopefully, this is about to change..... 

Step 1: Take inventory of what we do have.  
Stage one of my plan was completed today and not going to lie, took a lot longer than I thought it would.  But I'm also very OCD about things and probably did more than I needed to.
(Tip: I recommend completing this step the day before trash pick up, not the day of.)
I started with a clipboard and washcloth (to clean as I went- smart huh?)

The freezer was first.  I went through item by item and wrote it down and how many of each we had.  We often buy chicken and ground turkey in bulk packages because it is cheaper and then divide it up and freeze it.  So, I had 3 bags of ground turkey, 4 of fish, etc.  I also organized as I went.  Now all the frozen vegetables are on one shelf, meat is in a pull-out drawer, etc.  I also condensed as I went, we had a huge tub of ice cream that was almost empty, so I emptied it into a small container- takes up a lot less room now (although to be truthful, I really considered just eating it to get it out of the way! :) )

Next, was the refrigerator.  I know everyone probably knows great ways to organize their fridge- do whatever works for you.  We have a pretty good system and we know what works for us.  I did pull those items that get pushed to the back up front so we will see them and eat them (like the canned beets from my grandma).  I didn't write down everything in the fridge because those things like ketchup and mayo are staples and will always be there.  But I did write down things like wing sauce and hot sauce.  I bought these for recipes, only used part of it, and now the rest just sits there and takes up room.

Then I moved on to our pantry cabinet/storage cabinet.  I moved some things around, so hopefully we will see it and be more likely to eat it. We have a storage cabinet in our laundry room with 'back-stocked' supplies.  Like all the ingredients for the deer chili my husband makes and takes to work once a month.  Most of that stuff didn't move because it isn't stuff we use daily or weekly even.

I even did our spice cabinet- we have doubles of a lot of spices.  It will also be handy when I have a recipe that calls for something specific, I can just look at our list instead of digging around. 

Something else I did as I went was add items to our grocery list that I knew we needed.  Like crackers to eat a jar of jalapeno jelly with.
Tip: if you have a smart phone I highly recommend the app 'Any List.'  My husband found it and it is amazing!!  You can create different lists, like a grocery list, and share it with however many people you want.  So, my husband and I share a grocery list- we both can see everything we add to it.  It is nice because if my husband runs to the store and I think of something else we need while he is gone I can add it to the list, and it instantly pops up so he can see it.  I really can't say enough about it- I could write an entire post about it! 

After I had everything written down- several hours later- I almost felt ashamed.  We are very fortunate and have a ton of food.  We have food to last us a long time- we shouldn't complain about having nothing to eat, because we have a lot.  I then typed my lists and separated everything into categories.  This is where my OCD really kicked in.  I have a list for freezer, refrigerator, cabinet, canned goods, soups, extras/back stock, pasta, etc.  The list are all alphabetized too.  NERD ALERT!  Am I right?  Oh, well.  I then posted the signs inside the cabinet door.  My plan is to mark items off as we eat them so 1) we can see what we really do eat, and 2) I will be able to meal plan (step 2).

Step 2: Meal plan around what we already have. 
This will not be happening today.  Organizing and taking inventory took way longer than I thought and wore me out.  Maybe tomorrow...or later tonight.  I really do love to organize- it relaxes me.

Step 3: Freezer Meals/ Weekly Meal Plan
Definitely not week maybe :)