The One Organization Tool I Use in Every Room of My Home

8 Jul

My favorite and most-used organization tool around my home is a clear plastic shoe box. They are available at big box stores and dollar stores. The ones I purchase are branded by the Container Store.  You can find them here.

Here’s why I like this particular line-up:

  • BPA free (important for food storage)
  • Relatively inexpensive (especially by the case and during sales)
  • Consistent sizing
  • Readily available in-store and on-line
  • Seem to fit spaces exactly!
  • Easily stackable
  • Especially handy to prevent liquids from spilling where they shouldn’t
  • Easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher
  • And most importantly, I can see what’s inside!

The 3 sizes I probably use the most are: men’s shoe box, small accessory box, and the regular sweater box. I keep a small stash of these on-hand for quick access when I get a sudden urge to re-organize a closet or pantry (insert Hubby’s deep sigh and shoulder shrug here).

Here are some action pics Around My Home –

Utility Cabinet in Laundry room:

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My $24 Coffee Table Makeover

16 Jun

This coffee table has been on the docket for a makeover for….let’s just say, awhile. I had a chance to tackle the re-do while the l’il guy was at Summer Camp last week.

Here’s a before shot of what I started with:

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I picked up the coffee table at my local Salvation Army for $24. It’s a solid wood piece, but wasn’t in great shape – lots of scrapes and scratches, marker stains on top, and generally well-worn.

And after:

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Here’s the step-by-step process I followed, which spanned several days:

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Fun Summer Schedule For Kids

4 Jun

My son and I created this personalized calendar for the summer. It was a super fun project to work on together, and he’s thrilled with the end result. The best part is that he’s actually excited about rushing over to the refrigerator to see what part of his day it is.

Summer Kids Schedule

I started by jotting down what we do on a daily/weekly basis. For the most part, it’s the same things every day: eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, feed and walk the dog. Our morning and bedtime routines are similar. It’s what we do during the middle of the day that varies.

Once I had captured our daily routine, my son and I searched for free clip art together. That part was really fun. He had a great time deciding which images looked most like our family.

The tedious part was figuring out what size to print the pictures, how to arrange them on paper, and then come up with a finished product that we could color together.

Here’s the process I used:

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Heart-Healthy Red Lentil and Vegetable Soup

12 Nov

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This satisfying red lentil and vegetable soup is quick and easy to make, is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and is so fresh and healthy. A neighbor shared this recipe with me a few years ago, and it has become a staple meal Around My Home this time of year.

INGREDIENTS

–1 Tbs olive oil

–4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

–1 medium onion, chopped

–1 tsp ground cumin

–1 can diced tomatoes in juice

–2 cups vegetable broth

–2 cups water

–1 cup red lentils (usually available in bulk). Tip: red lentils cook faster than any other color.

–1/4 tsp salt

–1/8 tsp black pepper

–5 oz. fresh baby spinach

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil in 4 quart sauce pan. Sauté carrots and onions on medium heat for ~6-7 minutes until soft. Stir in cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, water, lentils, salt, and pepper and stir thoroughly. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover for ~8-10 minutes until lentils are soft. Turn off heat. Stir in spinach a little at a time. Makes ~4-6 servings. Consider serving with cornbread muffins and hard parmesan cheese.

I hope you enjoy this heart-healthy and satisfying meal around your home this season!

Antique Sideboard Gets A Modern Metallic Restoration

1 Sep

 

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I recently transformed this antique buffet that I snagged at the local Goodwill for $10!

Here’s what it looked like when I brought it home:

Antique Sideboard Cabinet

I’m pretty sure that this lovely piece had been stored outdoors, maybe in a backyard shed. It was porous from having been exposed to high doses of humidity, and the glue on some of the ornate scrollwork had disintegrated. Sadly, I had to remove the scrollwork that remained with my putty knife, and sand the entire piece thoroughly with 80 grit sandpaper.

Note: when working on a piece this old, I wear protective safety glasses, a dust mask, an apron, and gloves, and I work outside or in my garage with the doors open. 

After sanding, I cleaned it thoroughly with TSP, then let it dry.

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From Dumpster to Home Office: DIY Chalkboard Easel

21 Aug

My son and I found this weathered and worn easel on the curb of a neighbor’s house. They had put it out for the trash pick-up. My sweet little guy has compassion for discarded furniture (wonder where he gets that from), and asked if we could rescue the piece. He envisioned transforming it into a chalkboard to practice writing his letters.

As you can see in the before pics, the easel had been sitting outside for a long, long time. The wood had mildew in some places and the whole thing was d-i-r-t-y.

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I used Windex to clean it, filled in some of the cracks with caulk, and sanded away. My l’il guy helped every step of the way.

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Windex works great on removing dirt and grime from wood, and the drying time is super short.

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I then taped off the whiteboard surface. I knew I’d be transforming it into a chalkboard, and wanted to keep it free from any primer grit.

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I typically use small, square bricks wrapped in wax paper as furniture risers. They’re sturdy, re-usable, and paint doesn’t stick to the wax paper.

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Pineapple-Coconut Protein Smoothie

22 Jul

Pina Colada Protein Smoothie

This protein-packed smoothie is a super-refreshing, cool tropical treat on hot summer days. Best of all, it’s just as healthy as it is filling.

Pineapple-Coconut Protein Smoothie Recipe

Simply blend the following ingredients in a blender on high for approximately one minute:

–1 cup coconut milk

–1 TBSP coconut oil

–1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

–1 TBSP shelled pumpkin seeds

–1 cup frozen pineapple

–1/2 frozen banana

Makes ~ one 20 oz. smoothie

TIP: Want it a little sweeter? Try adding honey and/or using vanilla yogurt.

Looking for more smoothie recipes? Click here.

To your health this summer,

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