Mission: Possible! – Organizing under the kitchen sink

Today I decided to tackle one of my biggest household enemies: the cabinet under the bathroom sink. Eek Eek!

Such a sad, sad place, where cosmetic samples and sunscreens go to die. Where hair brushes and bottles of mouth wash are tossed in with unraveled razor chargers and travel tooth brush holders. But it’s also where I keep my make-up and my hair dryer so I have to look at it every day. It drives me nuts and today I could no longer take it! Forget savings, forget thrift stores, I drove my butt down to target to pick up some nice uniform containers so I could organize my bathroom cabinet.

I took measurements before I left the house and brought the tape measure with me to the store. There’s nothing worse than coming home with a bunch of stuff crap that doesn’t fit. Here’s what I bought…

storage containers from Target

Cute, colorful and luckily, fit for the job!

Here’s my before.

messy bathroom cabinet

Such an annoying mess. Those hair care products were falling out every time I reached for the hairbrush. (See it there on the right?) Bleh, drives me nuts!!!

What else is back there??

back of bathroom cabinet

Is that VO5 shampoo!?  We don’t even use that brand!!  I think I friend left it with us back in 2005!  And what’s with the avalanche of travel bags?!?

clean cabinet

Aaaa…nice clean cabinet. I wish it could stay this way. Of course we have to keep the Mr. Bubble.

And here we have the after!

organized bathroom cabinet

Much better. Still not perfect but it’s good for now. There are some sunscreens and lotions in there that are getting one more summer before they hit the curb. The same goes for that puff on a stick. Hair brushes are nicely hung on the door with some hooks and travel bags are consolidated with travel sized toiletries in the back. I can handle this. 🙂

Organize_Under_the_Sink

Organizing isn’t always fun but it feels oh-so-good when you’re done!!

What part of your home is your organization enemy?

Speaking of enemies….the All-Star made me dispose of this guy yesterday…

spider_2

Pretty gross, huh? I thought it would be more gross to clean up its remains so I captured it live and set it free outside. I’m so humane. But it was so creepy!!

Bye for now…

Laura

My New Picture Frame Collage

I’ve been seeing a whole lot of picture frame collages on Pinterest, of course, (follow me), so I though I’d give it a whirl. But where to start?  How to get the dimensions right?  How to make it look organized but not boring. Then yesterday I found a great post from Corrin at corrin.wendell.designs. She gave a tutorial, with pictures, of how to properly “organize the chaos” that is a picture frame collage.

This was exactly the inspiration I needed and I quickly got to work on my own.

First I gathered together all my photos. I included in the middle one that my cousin took of the All-Star and I on our wedding day. (If you live in the Martin County area and need a photographer, she is awesome! Check her out.) Around it are pictures of our closest family members. I’d like to include a few more but these are what I had. Fortunately most of them were already in pretty decent frames and still packed up and organized since the move. There were a few frames that weren’t good for hanging so I cruised over to a local crafted store, where I had never been btw, and I found canvases, frames, and baskets all on sale! I asked the cashier when the sale ended and she told me never. Works for me!

Anyway, I purchased four mismatched frames for $26 and got to work on positioning my pictures.

First I laid them out in my ottoman. (I love my ottoman. It reminds me of an old circus. I’ve decided that will be my inspiration for the room.) Getting the pictures in the right spots definitely took some time, but when I finally got it it was like putting in the last piece of a puzzle. Aaaa.

image

Then came the hard part. I started taking measurements and figuring out where it all should go on the wall. It didn’t have to be absolutely perfect but I wanted it to be close. Unfortunately I’m not very good at drafting and, as we’ve learned, I lack the art of patience.

All that aside, I powered through and with just a few extra holes we have our completed project.

image

I think it looks great! As I said, I’ll most likely add to it but for now it works! I love having all the faces of the people we love in one place!

What do you think!?

image

Any suggestions for lighting?

Laura

Slow Cooked Weekdays are Back!

When we were living in SoCal and I had a wonderful kitchen to spend time in, we very often we had Crockpot Tuesdays. I worked late on Tuesday nights and wanted nothing more than a warm home-cooked meal when I returned from my commute and Crockpot Tuesdays was the perfect solution. Since resettling here in the Bay Area, I for a while found myself resisting the kitchen. I wasn’t in the mood to cook. I didn’t enjoy the space I had to work with. I was working a lot and not doing the food shopping. Excuses, excuses, excuses. But now that I have a lovely large kitchen and my meal planning is in full effect (it’s coming along smashingly by the way), I have no reason not to have warm home cooked meals everyday day of the week.

That's The All-Star cooking breakfast!

That’s The All-Star cooking breakfast!

The only problem is that now it’s not just Tuesdays that I’m working late. Monday, Wednesdays and often Fridays are turning into 8 or even 8:30pm quitting times so the crockpot is getting a lot of use over here. It’s great though. Simple, warm, perfect for winter, and waiting for me when I get home!

Most of my recipes are soups and stews, although I will throw in the occasional whole chicken and veggies. I like making whole chickens because the remains make for awesome chicken soups, but who has the time to wait and make sure it’s cooked. I let the slow-cooker do that for me. Set it and forget, baby!

I usually prepare my meals before I leave for work. They don’t require much prep so it’s easy to just throw it all in! Tonight we’re having No Hurry Curry from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker.  I’ve made it before. I even blogged about it (the recipe is in the post I linked above.) I’m not vegetarian but I really love this book. It’s nice to have meatless meals sometimes and the recipes are creative and healthy!

Here are my ingredients all ready to go…

Looks good already!

Looks good already!

The recipe doesn’t call for it but I’m adding cauliflower. I actually bought it by mistake because I thought it was in the recipe. It’s not but I’m keeping it in there anyway. I’m in the mood for cauliflower. I’m also using chicken broth because that’s what I have. Like I said, I’m not vegetarian so chicken broth is what I use.

I wasn’t ready to cook yet and I didn’t like all the ingredients on the counter so I put them in a basket where they will wait. I would like a different basket but this is what I had.

no hurry curry ingredients

Baskets make everything better!

Goodness, I feel ready to eat this right now! Alas, I will have to wait 10 hours. I’m sure it will be worth it. What’s your late work-night solution for dinner??

 

Laura

Keeping the Christmas Cheer

I love Christmas time. The carols,  the lights; they bring a joy into my heart that I could soak in forever. The rest of the year is just sort of blah. And alas, with February closing in fast,  it was definitely time to take down the last remnants of yuletide cheer, the wreath.

wpid-IMG_20130123_100509.jpg

A wreath on a front door seems warm and welcoming to me. It says, home is where my heart is and I welcome you in!  A wreath also symbolizes eternity (I learned that from religion class) and being a newlywed, I like being reminded that the man I promised forever to is in our home waiting for me. Yes, I get all that from a wreath! Of course even evergreen eventually dies and once the wreath came down, life just started to feel regular again. And regular isn’t good enough for me.  Fortunately I am resourceful (thanks dad) and creative (thanks mom). wpid-IMG_20130123_101630.jpg

The Christmas wreath I bought way back in December for about $12 had a great metal frame which, although the pine needles that adorned it were dry and yellowing, definitely had some life left in it. I made a trip around our yard to see if I could find some appropriate branches to replace the tennanbaum remnants.

We’ve got this tree which I believe is eucalyptus. I could be wrong. I probably am. But since the majority of my bridal bouquet (see above) was made of seeded eucalyptus, it makes me happy to believe that’s what it is. The leaves have turned a beautiful green and the seeds a really pretty purple. Perfect!

I got out my sheers and went to work cutting back some of the branches which were clearly overgrown. Twenty minutes later I had a gorgeous new wreath and I much brighter yard.

Voila! eucalyptus wreath - instagrammed

It was so easy to make. I’m sure I’ll be able to use the frame again and again. Not bad for 12 dollars.

recycled wreath tutorial

Here’s a brief run-down of what I did….

1 – Use pliers to pull back the metal teeth (that’s what I’m calling them b/c I don’t know what they are called.)

2 – remove old branches

3 – cut new branches to desired size and width. Mine as you can see are about a foot but you can make them smaller, as long as they fit into the teeth.

4 – Lay the branches overlapping around the circle.

5 – Tuck the last branch under the first one and close all the teeth and them.

5 – Enjoy the beauty that is your creation!

There’s a picture on Pinterest (feel free to follow me there) that I’ve seen a few times. It says, “Breath, you’re home.”  Hmm…makes you think.

While I’m always happy to be home, I do occasionally bring the stress from the outside world through our door. Without having a sign that blatantly tells me to chill, I’d like to think this simple wreath can be my reminder that I’m home now, safe and sound, it’s warm and cozy inside, and my loved one is waiting for me! Kinda sounds like Christmas right?! Here’s to keeping the cheer year round!

Laura

Couch in the Kitchen

The All-Star and I decided to use a bit of our wedding dough to purchase some grown-up furniture for our new rented space. We’d been using the same old hand-me-down couches for years and we felt we were ready for a “sofa & loveseat” and some end tables to match. We even splurged on the matching ottoman/coffee table. And we were happier than pigs in poop… Until the furniture arrived that is. We discovered that due to the odd shape of our living room, there was no way that the sofa would fit through the door. GASP! Of course, instead of sending it back and paying the ridiculous restocking fee, we told the delivery men to leave it and began to think of way to mischievously get the sofa in there. I’m not going to get into any of the details but let’s just say the sofa is still not in the living room. There are possible plans with the landlord in the works but I’m not counting chickens. And so the sofa stayed, wrapped in it’s black travel blanket without a hope in the world of getting sat upon anytime soon. That is until yesterday when I decided it was taking up useful space and we should just set it up where it does fit…in the kitchen. WELL, the end result actually looks great. I love having a couch in the kitchen. I can take a comfy seat while I’m waiting for water to boil. I can enjoy my morning coffee and internet surfing facing slight south-east. When we have friends over we can serve some appetizers there. It’s actually a PERFECT spot for sitting. So I’m happy it all worked out. Eventually the sofa may actually make it’s way to the promise land that is the living room. But for now, I’m enjoying the fact that I pushed my original desire aside and made due with what we’ve got.

Ain't no couch fitting through this door

Ain’t no couch fitting through this door

A fortunate solution

A fortunate solution

Watching The All-Star cook breakfast  for me while I blog

Watching The All-Star cook breakfast for me while I blog

Life can be that way sometimes (or maybe even a lot of times.) You think you need things to be one way, but the truth is you just want it that way, and the reality is that there can be a whole lot of ways and maybe even better ones than you first expected. It’s a good lesson for me. I have a tendency to get a little cranky freak out when things aren’t as I want them. Now I’ll remember to look outside the box for alternative solutions. I may find myself even more comfortable than I’d intended to be!

Laura