Currently….

Currently :: maximizingdaysblog.com

I Am Currently…..

Wearing

These workout tights.

The search is over. From here on out, I will buy no other workout bottoms. The moment that I tried them on, I knew there would be no other.

The fabric feels like butter. That sounds so silly, but I can’t think of a better way to describe it. They are light & breathable.

They have just the right amount of compression, so they stay put, but don’t show too much. I ran an entire 5K and didn’t have to adjust or pull the pants up once. That never happens for me.

The only reason that I ordered white was because that was the only color on sale (and on sale with an additional discount is the only way that I can afford Athelta). You cannot see through them. I’m not sure how that’s possible, but it is.

Reading

Suffering by Paul David Tripp

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that I said I was reading this book a few months ago.

And I was.

Then I wasn’t.

I got a few chapters in and didn’t pick it up again. But I decided that it is going to be the book that I read for the month of February, so I am determined to read it.

It is really good and I highlight recommend it. But it is a hard read. It is hard, raw truth.

And it will be a miracle if I actually finish it by the end of the month.

Eating

Lemon Blueberry Bread from Tastes Better From Scratch

Each week, my husband and I have an at-home date night and we take turns planning the evening. A few weeks ago, my husband suggested that we bake a new recipe together, and I dug this one up from the caverns of Pinterest. I’ve had this recipe pinned for over eight years and just tried it.

Do yourself a favor and don’t wait eight years to make this bread.

It is delicious and would be a special breakfast treat or an evening snack.

Watching

Fixer Upper.

I’m well aware that I’m five years late on this trend.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen the show by any means, but I was sick last week and binged 2 seasons and loved every single second.

I hate being cliche and loving what everyone else loves, but I can’t help myself with this show. It is just so darn enjoyable.

Loving

Roomba

I’ve wanted a Roomba vacuum since I was in college. I wish I was kidding about this, but I’m not.

The battery on our cordless Dyson is dying a slow death and can no longer last long enough to vacuum our entire upstairs, so it was time to replace it.

After an embarrassing amount of research, we decided to go with the robotic vacuum. We still have the Dyson and use it for all of the other tasks that don’t involve vacuuming our floors on a daily basis.

I’ve been saving Target gift cards and gift money for the last year and pooled it all together when Target ran a sale on Roomba and made the purchase. Yes, you read that right. I saved my money and gift cards to purchase a vacuum. And I have zero shame about it.

We have really dark wood floors that show everything, so this press a button, walk away and come back to clean floors thing is AWESOME.

Thinking

It’s time to add a ‘Listening’ category to this little installment.

Frankly, I’m a more avid listener than I am a watcher or a reader.

As evidenced by my earlier reading category, I don’t always read or watch something new each month. But I listen to a new podcast every month. Or every week.

I just started listening to Throughline and it is fantastic.

Are you a fan of podcasts? What are your favorites?

Menu Plan Monday

Monday

Eat Out

Have you ever had one of those days where you just could not bring yourself to adult up and cook a meal?

That was today.

And the kids got McDonald’s gift certificates for Christmas, so we put those bad boys to good use

Tuesday

French Toast & Bacon

My grandpa’s french toast was legendary. This is his recipe.

But I will say that I now realize the real trick was that he put a thin pad of butter on top of each piece while the other side was cooking on the griddle. And sprinkled copious amounts of cinnamon on the toast as it was cooking as well.

So, use whatever recipe you want, and just cook it with lots of butter and cinnamon and you will be good.

French Toast

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 8 pieces Brioche bread (you can use regular bread, but trust me on this)
  1. Mix eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in shallow dish
  2. Dip bread slices in mixture
  3. Cook toast on griddle at medium heat

As always, whenever we have breakfast for supper, I supplement it with a smoothie that’s loaded with plain greek yogurt (protein!) and handfuls of spinach.

Wednesday

Leftovers

Leftovers are normally our lunches on the weekend, but we weren’t home for lunches this weekend, so this food needed to get eaten.

My kids were thrilled. #sarcasm

Thursday

Burritos & Chips w/ Guacamole

As much as my kids loathe leftovers, they love burritos. Mostly because they think they have a say in what gets put on their plate (this is not normally the case).

They point out what they want in their burrito AND get to assemble it themselves.

It is their best day.

Friday

Pizza & Smoothies

Have you had the bread bites from Domino’s (not to be confused with bread twists)?

If you haven’t, stop what you’re doing right now and order them. They are little bits of dough, fried (I think), then dipped in butter & parmesan. They melt in your mouth.

Consider yourself warned that you will lose count of how many you’ve eaten.

Saturday

BLT’s & Salad

Not all of the bacon that was made with the french toast was eaten, so I bought some really good bread, sliced a tomato and called it supper.

When we do BLT’s, we add lots of fixings, including cucumbers, mayo, avocado, cheese & turkey.

Sunday

Snacky Supper

I am starting to think that I should switch up our menu, but no one seems to complain about it, so I think we’ll stick with it.

Sunday Snacky Supper

  • Meat, Cheese & Crackers
  • Veggie Tray
  • Fruit Tray
  • Chips & Queso
  • Pigs in a Blanket
  • Mozzarella Sticks

Do your kids have a  meal  that they get excited for, but isn’t actually that exciting?

Favorite Kitchen Organizing Products

Products are not the solution to our disorganization (More about that here). That being said, there are circumstances when a great product can be just what you need.

Almost always, those circumstances arise AFTER you’ve done the hard work of going through your stuff and keeping only what you NEED and USE.

Regardless of how big your kitchen is or how much storage space you do or don’t have, a product that helps to maximize that space and make it function at a higher level is worth the investment.

Best Kitchen Organization Products :: maximizingdaysblog.com

one, two, three, four, five, six

Favorite Kitchen Organizing Products

1 – Expandable Pantry Shelf – This creates a custom-built feature and maximizes space while keeping products visible. It can be used in pantries or cupboards.

2 – Lazy Susan – These make hard to reach places (like back corners of cupboards) accessible.

3 – Shelf Riser – These utilize vertical space without having to next small items into larger items.

4 – In-Drawer Knife Tray – It can be tempting to buy more of something for less. But then you have what you don’t need. This is often the case with knife sets that come in a block. The block is counter clutter and most of the knives don’t get used. Find the knives that you use most often and pare down (get it?) to just those.

5 – Multi-Purpose Bins – Don’t be surprised if you see these on every graphic in this series. These bins are so multi-purpose that I had the hardest time finding them in The Container Store because they can go in EVERY room. See how they save my life in our bottom drawer freezer.

6 – Rectangular Canisters – These are a cost-effective dupe for the very popular (but pricey!) Oxo Pop Containers. These canisters are the only reason that we can live with one small cupboard and no pantry.

What am I missing? What your favorite kitchen organizing product?

Menu Plan Monday

Monday

Chicken Pot Pie & Caesar Salad

Easy Chicken Pot Pie :: maximizingdaysblog.com

Chicken Pot Pie

  • 1 cup sliced carrtos
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup cubed potatoes
  • 1 lb diced/shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth (+ 2-3 cups more for boiling veggies)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 to 9 ” refrigerated pie crusts
  1. Heat oven to 400
  2. Cover carrots, frozen peas, celery, potatoes & chicken w/ chicken broth and boil for 15 minutes
  3. In a saucepan, melt butter and saute onions until soft & transluscent
  4. Stir in flour, salt, pepper & celery seed
  5. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk.
  6. Simmer until thick on medium low
  7. Add vegetables to sauce
  8. Pour into pie crust
  9. Cover w/ 2nd pie crust and cut 4 slits in top
  10. Bake for 45 minutes

This is a friend’s recipe that she adapted from The Pioneer Woman. Some readers have told me that they tried the Pioneer Woman recipe and that it was a little runny, but I’ve never had any issues with that with this adapted recipe.

Tuesday

Hamburger Vegetable Soup

Two Pioneer Woman recipes in one week.

This is the easiest recipe. Brown the hamburger with some veggies, dump everything else in & cook. DONE.

Wednesday

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

I needed something fast, and it was Stouffer’s Skillet to the rescue.

We “beef” it up by adding more chicken & broccoli. I buy cooked chicken breast & frozen vegetables that cook in 4 minutes in the microwave.

Thursday

Cheesy Hashbrowns & Sausage Patties

Day 4 of the Polar Vortex meant no trips to the grocery store and scraping together what we had in the freezer. A friend gave me a pan of cheesy hash browns that needed to be thawed & baked. Combine that with frozen sausage patties & smoothies filled with spinach and you’ve got a meal.

Friday

Out to Eat

Our first day out of the house in FIVE DAYS. And to celebrate, we went to a kids’ winter carnival where they served hot dogs. In hind sight, we should have eaten at a real restaurant, but live and learn.

Saturday

Pizza & Smoothies

Our Friday tradition got moved to Saturday.

Sunday

Super Bowl Party

Here’s the nice thing about eating appetizers for supper every Sunday night: When friends invite you over for a Super Bowl Party, you don’t have to think hard about what to make.

We went with the very cliche Pigs in a Blanket and Chips & Queso.

What is your favorite Super Bowl food?

Why the KonMari Folding Method is the Best Way to Fold Your Clothes

Why the KonMari Folding Method is the Best Way to Fold Your Clothes :: maximizingdaysblog.com

I’m the only person living in civilization who hasn’t seen Tidying Up, the Marie Kondo show on Netflix, or read her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but I’ve been familiar with her clothes folding method for a few years.

Being familiar with the folding method didn’t equal actually using it until recently. I don’t even have a good reason why I didn’t do it earlier.

But, a few months ago, I worked the KonMari magic on my sock drawer and it snow-balled from there. Socks led to underwear which led to workout tops & bottoms which led to shirts and then my entire dresser was KonMari-ed.

Why the KonMari Folding Method is the Best Way to Fold Your Clothes :: maximizingdaysblog.com

I saw what a difference it made in my own dresser, that I started folding my kids’ clothes using the KonMari folding method too.

It is the way to go.

Here’s the thing: If you fold your clothes at all – and by that I mean, if you do anything other than live out of baskets of straight-out-of-the-dryer clothes – there is no reason not to fold your clothes using the KonMari method.

It doesn’t take any more time than a “conventional” folding method. How do I know this? Because I timed myself folding clothes my old way and using the KonMari folding method. Lame, I know. But I’m here for the people. And my research proves my point. The difference in an entire load of clothes was seconds.

Why the KonMari Folding Method is the Best Way to Fold Your Clothes :: maximizingdaysblog.com

Benefits of KonMari Folding Method

Maximizes Drawer Space

More clothes fit in your drawer this way. I’m not exactly sure how the math works on this, but it does.

This was my husband’s drawer BEFORE using the KonMari folding method.

And this is the same exact drawer with the same exact amount of clothes AFTER using the KonMari folding method.

Why the KonMari Folding Method is the Best Way to Fold Your Clothes :: maximizingdaysblog.com

In addition to being able to fit more clothes in your drawer, you can also more easily access those extra clothes.

See Everything in the Drawer

You are more likely to wear clothes that you don’t have to dig for. Folding your clothes using the KonMari folding method means that you will actually wear the clothes that you buy.

Requires No Special Equipment

You don’t have to buy anything to make this change.

Do you want a clean, organized space without spending money? Start here. This is a fast, easy change you can make that costs ZERO dollars.

Why the KonMari Folding Method is the Best Way to Fold Your Clothes :: maximizingdaysblog.com

That’s the ‘Why’. I will leave the ‘How’ to the experts. To learn how to fold your clothes using the KonMari folding method, check out these great instructional videos.

Why the KonMari Folding Method is the Best Way to Fold Your Clothes :: maximizingdaysblog.com

What are your thoughts? Do you fold your clothes this way? Have you noticed a difference? What’s your reason for not folding using the KonMari method? Inquiring minds (and by that, I mean me) want to know.

P.S. Check out how I organized my kids’ dresser BEFORE using the KonMari folding method (this is making me realize that I should do an updated post on this…..)