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.
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?
1 3/4 cup chicken broth (+ 2-3 cups more for boiling veggies)
2/3 cup milk
2 to 9 ” refrigerated pie crusts
Heat oven to 400
Cover carrots, frozen peas, celery, potatoes & chicken w/ chicken broth and boil for 15 minutes
In a saucepan, melt butter and saute onions until soft & transluscent
Stir in flour, salt, pepper & celery seed
Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk.
Simmer until thick on medium low
Add vegetables to sauce
Pour into pie crust
Cover w/ 2nd pie crust and cut 4 slits in top
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pizza & Smoothies
Our Friday tradition got moved to Saturday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
About 2 years ago, I wrote about what my kids ate for breakfast, lunch & supper in a week. Now that I no longer need to adapt meals for an 18 month-old who can’t chew well, I thought I’d do a little update.
I also learned to not try to reinvent the wheel each week with our lunch menu.
It used to be, every week, as I’d meal plan, I’d sit with a blank slate and try to be creative with my kids’ lunches. After reading A Simplified Life last summer, I realized that this was completely unnecessary.
Now, I assign a lunch meal to each day of the week so that it’s one less decision that I have to make each week. I thought that when we needed a change of pace, I would change it up. That was in September, and no one’s bored yet. And my kids still eat what I put on their plate each day, so we’re going with it.
When it is time to decide what to put on their plates, I find it’s easiest to use a “structure”.
For me, it helps to have a reference point. So, I start with the building blocks for each meal and go from there.
Toddler Lunch Building Blocks
Your building blocks may be different depending on how your family eats. That’s fine. Make your own building blocks list and then list what foods fall into each box.
Get Out of the Lunch Rut
1 – Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Don’t do what I did. Don’t feel like you need to come up with something new and creative each day each week. It’s just not necessary.
Maybe your kids would get bored eating the same thing every Monday. That’s understandable. Then make the same 5 lunches each week and switch up the days. Or come up with 7 lunches and pick 5 each week.
Simple doesn’t have to equal boring.
2 – Make a List
Write down a list of lunches so you don’t have to “come up with something” each day. Get your kids involved and have them pick which meal from the list gets eaten on which day.
I have a thing about chicken nuggets in the microwave. And my thing is that I just can’t do it. Soggy when they should be crunchy? No, thank you.
We don’t go anywhere Tuesday mornings, which allows the 45 minutes that it takes for the oven to preheat and then to cook the nuggets, so that’s our rocket science reason we eat chicken nuggets on Tuesday.
Dino Chicken nuggets because why even bother with any other kind.
This meal comes together in less than 90 seconds. Which is what I need on Wednesdays.
The kids get to choose their meat (I offer whatever sandwich meat we have in the fridge) & cheese (we usually have 4-5 kinds of sliced cheese in the fridge because I’m weird like that). Grab some cut up fruits & veggies and throw in some crackers for good measure.
Yep. I’ve become a Minnesotan. In these parts, I consider processed meat wrapped in casing protein.
And I don’t know what it is about frozen peas, but my kids love it. I can’t take them out of the freezer too soon before putting them on their plate otherwise they won’t be cold enough. You can’t make this stuff up.
Friday – Rice Cakes, Peppers, Go-Gurt & Kiwi
This is the meal where the condiments – peanut butter & hummus – count as protein. And what they don’t have, the go-gurt makes up for. At least that’s what I tell myself.
We had leftover bacon, so it was a perfect time to make them because half of the work for the recipe had already been done.
THEY ARE DELICIOUS.
And why wouldn’t they be? They’re loaded with butter and salty, melty, gruyere cheese.
Fried eggs were an easy and quick side and a green smoothie loaded with veggies made me feel better about eating my son’s body weight in biscuits.
Cheese Tortellini & Parmesan Chicken Tenders
This dinner is all thanks to the Aldi prepared section. The tortellini needed to be boiled for 4 minutes & was ready to eat. I heated up some jarred marinara sauce.
The Parmesan Chicken tenders were not the homemade ones I told you about last week. These came from the freezer section at Aldi, and they were delicious. And oh, so convenient when you need to throw something in the oven and have no time to prep anything more than putting foil on a pan.
I would say that I make our meals from scratch 60-70% of the time. And the the rest of time, I rely on easy, convenient, yummy meals like this.
We had somewhere we needed to be right before supper, so I made it in the afternoon and let it simmer while we were out. I added the kale when we got home and supper was ready less than ten minutes after walking in the door.
Let me say this for, like, the three-millionth time – TRY THIS RECIPE!!!
Pizza & Smoothies
30 degree below zero windchill meant that I had planned on doing frozen pizza because it’s too cold to bundle two children and drive 8 blocks to pick up pizza. And I’m too cheap to pay for delivery.
But $5.99 two-topping large pizzas changed my mind. And my husband picked it up on his way home from work, so that helped.
It’s a good thing that we didn’t eat frozen pizza the night before, because our plans changed at the last minute, and I needed something in a pinch. Even though we had eaten pizza the night before, 3 of the 4 of us voted for pizza again, so majority wins.
I added chocolate chip cookies to this tradition this week. Because it wasn’t unhealthy enough already.