Sunday, November 18, 2012

Organizing the Kitchen

As you may know, I joined the 14 week challenge over at A Bowl Full of Lemons. I'm moving very slow, but I'm so happy to say that my kitchen is complete. I owe a big thank you to Mr. Red for helping to keep me motivated. I'm so relieved to have a clean and organized kitchen. I love walking in there and I love cooking in there. I love it. 

So, wanna check it out?

Here is a few pictures of my overall kitchen before and after:
(on my behalf, I had been canning for three straight 12-14 hour days away from home, so I neglected the housework, and hadn't gotten the canned goods put away yet! Although I had no where to put them!!)

I got rid of the extra paper towel holder and all of the clutter has a place, now :) I even had room for my birthday present! A new KitchenAid mixer!! Love it!

Don't mind my little photo bomber! I got matching garbage cans, one for, you guessed it, garbage! And one for cans to recycle. I turned my little garbage can, that I was previously using for garbage, into a recycle bin. I'm hoping that will keep me from putting the recycle onto the table.

All of my Wildtree now has a home.

My Crock Pot now has a home in the cupboard above the stove, and my cutting boards are now inside the cupboard with the pots and pans.

I have a basket in my pantry for both chips and bread now, so that is off the counter. I also have a home for all of my drink mixes in the coffee cupboard, and a home for the recipe box inside of a cupboard :)

Here are some before and after pictures of drawers and cupboards.

 My utensil drawer, I used a few drawer organizers I found at Walmart, they were super cheap for packs of 3

My baking cupboard. Got rid of all the expired stuff and put things in order. Yes, I know I have two sea salts... I couldn't find the other one so I had to make a special trip to the store to get another... Now I know where both are!

Here is the liquor cabinet. Got rid of all of the mixes that I hadn't used for.. oh, 3 years...

This is our "junk" cupboard. You can't see it in the photo, but that garbage bag holder was sitting on the inside of the cupboard, not attached to the door (you can buy one here). and everything that was in there is still in there, just neat and tidy!

This used to be Lil' Red's baby food cabinet, now it holds our Wildtree products. 

Here is where I keep my pots and pans. It was pretty organized before, just straightened things up a bit. Also, after I took the picture I decided to get the cutting boards off the counter and they lean up against the side of this cupboard now.

This is the cupboard above my fridge. It now houses some of my extra dishes and appliances that I rarely use. We've always kept our paper plates up there, and now all of our kitchen appliance manuals are in envelopes for easy access.

 This was my favorite cupboard transformation, but I forgot to take a before picture... it is now our "coffee station" and it helped me make more space in our dishes cabinet. 

I can't wait to start baking my Christmas goodies!!

What do you think?

Stay motivated, and happy organizing!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Chamber

I was surprised when I saw a picture of John Grisham for the first time about 3 minutes ago. 
He looks exactly like I would imagine! 
And I'm not going to lie, for an older guy, he's pretty good looking, too!

What do you think? Does he look like you imagined he would, too?

Anyway, I remembered reading one of his books many years ago. The Chamber. Here is my slightly rusty review.

Throughout the book you follow a young lawyer, Adam Hall, who is appealing his grandfathers death row sentence. Adam's grandfather, Sam, is a racist who was responsible for two bombings and as a result, murder. The story progresses kind of slow, but the entire way you learn little bits and pieces of information to help keep you motivated to continue reading. I loved this book, and I will always recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting read. It's not really one of those can't put it down books, but a good read, nonetheless. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Easy Apple Crisp

Mr. Red surprised us tonight and came home early! I was so excited that we got to have dinner together tonight early, Lil' Red was pretty pumped, too!

I threw together one of those stir fry packages that have the noodles and sauce and all you have to add is the veggies. It was okay, but after dinner while Mr. Red was playing with the little one, she kept saying something that sounded like "pie". 

Mr. Red says, "Yeah, some apple pie does sound pretty good right now." and I couldn't help myself. I hopped on Google and typed in "Apple Crisp Recipe" and came up with one of the most delicious and so so easy apple crisp recipe I have ever found. Want to know the best part about this recipe? I had everything  I needed.


So I thought I would pass it on.

Here's what you'll need
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup quick oats
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 stick of butter
1 can apple pie filling

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease a round cake pan. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, quick oats, cinnamon and nutmeg. Melt the stick of butter and pour into the mixture and combine, creating the crumble topping. Empty the can of apple pie filling into the greased pan and top with the crumble. Bake for 35 minutes. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

You can find the original recipe here. I cut the recipe in half :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

I couldn't find a recipe to fit exactly what I wanted, so I did my own mix of a bunch of recipes that I had seen, by just looking up "Salsa Chicken Crock Pot Recipes" in Google. Here it goes!

Spray your crock with Pam.
Put in 4-5 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Dump in a big jar of my homemade salsa (a few 16oz store bought ones should do if you don't have any of mine)
Pour in a drain can of corn.
Drain and rinse a can of black beans to put in (this is optional, I wanted them in there, but didn't have them on hand.)
Add in some of Wildtree's all natural Taco Seasoning**
Turn your crock on low for 8 hours

When the 8 hours is up, take your chicken out and shred it, then put it back in and mix everything up. Place on flour tortillas and top with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and guacamole! If you like guacamole, we don't so we chose to skip that one!


What's for dinner in your house tonight? I would love to have some new recipes to try!

Friday, November 2, 2012

DIY Crafts

These crafts are on my

To 5 to do Crafts List

All of these come from Pinterest (where else do you get your craft ideas?) and they are all on my to do list. Here we go!

#1: Wine Cork Ornaments
I have an abundance of wine corks, and trust me, I'm not complaining! My sister-in-law is opening a little gift shop and I can't wait to start making some of these adorable ornaments to put up for sale in there. She's planning on offering a variety of nice wines, so these will fit in perfectly. 
You can find the tutorial at Lavender Clouds

#2: Cork Keychains
Keyping (haha) right along with my previous post, I think this one will be a sure hit. Simple, cheap and super adorable! These wine cork keychains need only 3 things to complete! I could make a gazillion of them in an hour! Love them!
You can find the tutorial at A Law Student's Journey and while you're there, check out her other posts, I love this girl!

#3: Cord and Button Bracelets
I love two things about these button bracelets, 1) how simple and cute they are and 2) that I have everything needed to make them on hand. It looks super easy and I'm excited to try it!
You can find the tutorial at The DIY Dreamer

#4: Painted Treat Tins
How stinking cute will these be for Christmas treats? Mr. Red and I are trying not to spend very much on gifts for the (fairly big) family this year. I have already made some handmade gifts for our close family (grandparents, parents, sister, brother), but Christmas treats will be perfect for the aunts, uncles and cousins! Mine will say "Peace" and "Love" and "Joy". I can't wait for these!
You can find the tutorial at Cynthia Shaffer

#5: Mod Podge Tile Coasters
These might just have to wait until after the holidays, I have so much that I'm doing right now, I think these can be put on the back burner. Although, I think Mr. Red will appreciate this craft seeing as he had such a fit over the $6 zebra coaster set I insisted that we needed years ago when we first got together. We still use those coasters, by the way, but these DIY coasters are going to be perfect to switch out for different holidays or place in separate rooms.
You can find the tutorial at Hostess with the Mostest

So there you have it, the top 5 DIY crafts on my to do list. What's on your list? I'd love for you to share!

Fast Facts Friday

5 Fast Facts, every Friday.

1. There is a coral Reef in Australia shaped like a heart

2. When Lil' Red was born she had extremely long fingers and a little duck tail of red hair on the back of her head

3. I love McDonald's chicken nuggets, despite all the nasty pictures and terrible descriptions I've seen.

4. One of my favorite movies is Transformers.

5. Lil' Red colored her first picture yesterday. It was beautiful.

Until next time.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Did I really just do that?!

Here I am, Halloween morning, trying to find something for Lil' Red to wear under her costume. I throw a load of her clothes into the washer so that I have options to choose from. I hear it singing it's pretty song when it's done and I walk on in there and open the washer to start switching things over... Gel pellets .. everywhere. Did I really run a Pull-Up through the washing machine?!

Okay, it's time...


and then Google. 

First of all, I felt much better when thousands of results appeared, at least I wasn't the only one. I felt even better when I realized that it wasn't that hard to fix. 

I came across a post from the Anti Mom Blog that walked me through the entire process of fixing my mess. Here's what I did:

1. Shake out all of the clothes trying to get as many gel pellets out as possible. 
2. Throw the clothes in the dryer.
3. Wipe out as many pellets as you can with a paper towel.
4. Run the cleaning cycle on your washer once or twice. 

And that's it!

Here's some pictures from our Halloween! Lil' Red was an Oregon Ducks cheerleader!

Happy Halloween!!