Jun 23, 2011

Summer Favorites

I’m looking forward to being able to post more in the near future. I work full-time as an editor, and my job was in jeopardy until earlier this month. I was really stressed out for a couple of months and not really in the mood to tackle house and organization projects. I’ll be employed for at least another year, so I can relax a little bit. My 9-year-old daughter was also diagnosed with mono in May, so I was dealing with that too. But, all is well now, so I can move on to the fun stuff!

I am normally NOT a fan of summer at all. I hate the heat and humidity. Living in the Southeast, we can’t get away from it! This year, though, I’m trying to make the best of it and enjoy the things that I DO love about this time of year. Here are some of them…

This is my favorite summer scent, and unfortunately, it is not made as a perfume, so I have to settle for the body spray. I wear a pretty heavy scent in the winter, so I like switching to something lighter and sweeter for summer. It’s the white tea and ginger scent from Bath & Body Works.

These BPA free bottles are great for keeping water ready at hand. I love the container that keeps them together and organized in my fridge. I just pull out a bottle and go. I got them for $7.99 from Home Goods.

I discovered this refreshing drink recently at Home Goods—sparkling lemonade! It comes in several flavors, and I LOVE the bottles. I’m saving them. I’ve seen them at TJ Maxx too.
LOVE this hand soap when I need a good hand washing (Safeguard). It smells great and leaves my hands feeling super clean. Kroger uses it in their bathrooms, and I looked for it in stores for a long time. I finally gave up and then saw it at Big Lots one day for $1. Woo hoo!

I love wedges, and these are one of my favorite pairs for summer. They are super comfortable. They are made by Keds (Bliss wedge) but have been discontinued.
blue keds

And one of my favorite treats is Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. Love ‘em!

And, last but not least, fun summer dishes. I got these this year. Plates are from Wal-Mart, and glasses are from Pier 1.
Those are just a few of the things that I love about summer. It’s also a great time for entertaining, but we aren’t doing that as much as we used to. Maybe we’ll plan something in July.

What are your favorite summer things?

Linking up here:
Tidy Mom

Jun 16, 2011

Making Use of an Odd Space

With a little creative “out of the box” thinking, it’s possible to turn a space with no apparent purpose into something quite functional. I’m usually not very good at thinking outside of the box, but occasionally I have “a hah” moments. Take this little odd space in my kitchen. It’s a small floor-to-ceiling cut out in one of the walls in our kitchen, probably four or five inches deep. It would be a great space for a small pantry, but I guess structurally that’s not possible. When we moved in I knew it could be used for something.

My “a hah” moment came when I realized that it could be used as a good space for storing things like spices and other odds and ends that don’t have a place to live elsewhere in the kitchen.

So, we purchased a pantry door organizer, and it fit perfectly! The nice thing about it is that it’s not made for over the door, so we didn’t have to deal with hooks at the top.

It’s hard to get a good picture of the whole thing, but here’s a general idea of how it looks in the space.


We have a regular spice rack with labeled bottles, but this is a good place for storing odd-sized containers. It’s also perfect for storing paper wraps and ziploc bags.


The little Command hook on the wall is a great place to store the dog’s leash.






We ended up deciding that this was a wonderful space for all of the dog’s food and treats, and accessories, because he’s king of the house, you know, and needs his space too!


I like this little space, too, because it is hidden behind a wall, so if it gets a bit disorganized and we have company, no one can see!

Jun 13, 2011

Cabinet Organization

I don't have a formal pantry but do have a fair amount of space for canned goods, baking supplies, snacks, and boxed meals and mixes.

The cabinets are deep, however, so I decided to add some bins and plastic containers to corral things that were getting lost in the back of the cabinet.

This is the right side of the cabinet. The green bin on the bottom has snacks.

And this is the left side. Microwave popcorn packets fit perfectly in the little green basket on the middle shelf. Muffin mixes are kept in the bin on the top shelf. Baking supplies are in the green bin on the bottom shelf. These shelves obviously need to be painted and cleaned very well!

And here are some shots of the items located in the back of the cabinets.

I wish I could put everything in the same kind of container, but this works in the space I have. It's wonderful to be able to pull out a basket instead of move everything around and never getting it back in the right place!

Linking up to these parties:

Jun 9, 2011


If you have commented on any of my posts, and I haven't responded, I apologize! I changed my template (and will probably change again!) and something happened with the embedded comment feature. Hopefully, it is fixed now!

Thank you sooo much for reading, and I'd love to hear from you anytime!

Jun 7, 2011

Hungry Girl’s Yum Yum Brownie Muffins

You may have heard of The Hungry Girl and her cookbooks. She creates low calorie, low fat versions of everyday foods. I’ve always wanted to try one of her recipes and was delighted to discover that she has a show on the Cooking Channel. I think she has a great tv personality, and I love all of her tips and tricks.

I recently watched an episode in which she made brownie muffins using only two ingredients. That’s right—only two ingredients: Devil’s Food cake mix and one can of pure pumpkin. I made them tonight, and they turned out very well. They are fudgy and delicious!

Here’s where you start:


First, pour the cake mix into a bowl and whisk to remove lumps.


Add the can of pumpkin and mix well. IMPORTANT: DO NOT ADD ANY OTHER INGREDIENTS. It takes a lot of elbow grease to get the cake and pumpkin fully mixed and you will think it will never happen! The finished product resembles dough. I couldn’t get a good picture of this.

I used a cookie scoop to insert the mixture into the muffin cups, but an ice cream scoop would work just as well.

They don’t spread in the cups very well and aren’t very pretty, but they’re mighty yummy!




I will definitely make these again!

Recipe (from Hungry Girl Cooking Channel show)

One 18.25-oz. box devil's food cake mix
One 15-oz. can pure pumpkin (I used Libby’s)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour cake mix into a large bowl and whisk to remove any lumps. Add pumpkin and stir until completely smooth and uniform.  Don't add any other ingredients that may be mentioned on the cake mix box, like eggs, oil, or water.

The mixture will be very thick, so you might be tempted to add in other things to make the batter thinner. Do not do this!

Evenly distribute batter into a 12-cup muffin pan lined with foil baking cups and/or sprayed with nonstick spray.

Place pan in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly and then serve!

MAKES 12 SERVINGS (I had enough batter to make mini muffins too.)

Linking to these parties:


Jun 6, 2011

Great Organizing Find!

I have been looking for some type of coupon/grocery list organizing system for a long time. I try to clip coupons and usually peruse coupons.com and Target's coupon site when I can. I just couldn't find a system that worked and that wasn't too bulky. I took a clipboard a few times with my grocery list and coupons attached, but that was not very manageable. Well, I'm happy to report that I've found the perfect solution via Country By Marriage's blog--Mead's Organizher shopping companion.

 It is the perfect size to fit in my purse or work bag, and I love the way it is organized. There are lined and perforated shopping list pages...

 ....plus a coupon divider section.

Oops! I forgot to clip off that plastic thingy. This system is working extremely well for me! I still keep a grocery list on the refrigerator where we can add items, but it's really not too much trouble to transfer them to this little notebook.

Another awesome feature is that Mead offers free downloads of the page inserts as well as downloads for their other Organizher products. Go here to grab some for yourself! I have another project for updating my home management binder using the Organizher system, which I will post about soon!

The Organizher products are available at Target.
Copyright © 2011 Designer Blogs