Sunday, May 14, 2017

Quick Pantry Makeover - Find Things Easier & Save Money

Do you have a hard time finding what's in your pantry? 
Or keep buying duplicates? 
Or start cooking only to find out you're missing something?
Or can't EVEN REMEMBER WHY you bought some ingredient?

I think we've all experienced this. Even though I'm lucky to have a walk-in pantry, it just means more space to mess up. I was tired of wasting food and throwing away expired items so I knew I had to
downsize and organize.

Step 1 - Clean Slate
Pull out everything, get rid of anything expired, can't remember why you bought it, or don't like.

Step 2 - Inventory
Sort items into categories (Baking, Sweets, Pasta, etc.) This will help you decide what storage items
(if any) you need to buy.  Decide what food items you use all the time and stock those items. (Don't buy storage first and then try to organize - actually see what you need and then shop.)

Step 3 - Decide on Storage
 Plastic or Glass, Baskets or Boxes, Shelf Stackers, etc. What works best for you? Baskets, Bins, Boxes - so many options are easy and inexpensive. Don't feel it has to be perfect - allow yourself some flexibility so as you "live" with it, you can tweak it as needed. I chose three sizes of Plastic Jars with screw off lids (Rubbermaid & Dollar Store), White Plastic Baskets (Walmart), Clear Plastic Binz (Container Store & Amazon) and Shelf Stackers (Walmart & Thrift Stores).

Step 4 - Create Your Labels
Write down your list of categories and head over to to make yourself some CUTE & FREE labels to match whatever look you want.

Design your label(s) - choose a size (you can create a custom one to fit your storage perfectly). Find a background you like, add a circle (or a square or whatever) and pick a font (I chose Amatic Small Caps for this project). When you're finished, download the labels to your computer and print them out. There are a couple ways to configure your labels: 1. Create individual labels for each item and download each one and add them to a Word/Publisher/Avery form.  2. Download a generic label (without the wording) and add the wording in a Word/Publisher/Avery document. I did the latter so I could easily change up the labels, size, etc.

I experimented with using Removable Labels (because who likes scraping off old labels) and they worked great. Printed up nicely, easy to cut, peal off, and position. Plus it's easy should I ever want to remove/change a label.

 Step 5 -  Label Label Label
Label all your containers, put everything back how you want it, and do a little happy dance.

Step 6 - Maintenance
 Once you've got your pantry manageable and looking like you want it, maintenance becomes the most important thing. This mean shopping deliberately, not "I think we need that" and putting it in your cart. Sticking to purchasing what you specifically need and plan for can save you bunches. More Organization, Less Frustration & Less Waste.
  • Choose Your Menu/Recipes.

  • Write those Ingredients on your List (on your phone or paper).

  • Buy Only those Things.

  • Repeat.

More Tips & Ideas for you...

Have 5 Favorite Meals - Set up 5 baskets with all the non-perishable ingredients for each meal. Then pull out the basket when you want to cook it - everything in one place.

If you have a favorite grocery store, take a little time to type up a generic grocery list of your favorite basic items (along with lines for write in items) based on the store aisles so you don't have to go back and forth and miss items. Print out a copy when you're ready to put together your shopping list.

10 Best Grocery Shopping List Apps of 2017

Have fun organizing & saving $$!
Love, Steph

Thursday, April 27, 2017

13 Things - Favorite Mother's Day Quotes + a special Art Piece

Some of my favorite Mother's Day Quotes
All I am or can be I owe to my angel Mother.  Abraham Lincoln

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.  Robert Browning

A mother’s love is more beautiful than any fresh flower.  Debasish Mridha

God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.  Rudyard Kipling

It may be possible to gild pure gold, but who can make his mother more beautiful? 
Mahatma Gandhi

Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face.  George Eliot

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.  Honore de Balzac

Nothing is lost until your mom can't find it.

A Mother's arms are more comforting than anyone else's.  Diana, Princess of Wales

Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; A mother's secret hope outlives them all. Oliver Wendell Holmes

I got to grow up with a mother who taught me to believe in me. Antonio Villaraigosa

Mom - someone who loves you unconditionally.
Momster - what happens to mom after she counts to three.

There is no greater heaven than the heart of a loving mother.  Bangambiki Habyarimana

I loved creating this art piece (even cutting out and painting each of those little flowers).
Get one for your mom here

Hope you have a special week!  Love, Steph

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Flowers Flowers Everywhere - 13 Unique Flower Creations to Celebrate Spring

The earth laughs in flowers.
 Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are always flowers for those who want to see them. 
Henri Matisse

By cultivating the beautiful we scatter
the seeds of heavenly flowers.

Robert A. Heinlein

Flowers, Flowers everywhere. I love the look of an abundance of flowers so I get a little crazy enthusiastic each year planting in my cottage garden. I'm always so excited to see little shoots of beauty peeking out of the ground. I've collected all sorts of flower creations to inspire your spring (and they're all from small businesses). #shopsmall

Dried Flower Wreath by  The Blaithin Blair Shop

 Boho Tile Coasters by Oregon Coaster Company

Glass Flower Art by Janie J Crafts

Paper Flowers by Pages Garden
Hand-blown Glass Pendant Necklace by Naturally Oregon

Dahlia Photo by Jen Mini Design

Sunflower Necklace by Delightfully Twisted
Poppy Wall Art by Atencio Annex

Flower Earrings by Treasures and Trinks

Sunflower Collages by CreativeSteph13Art

Felted Wool Baby Hair Clip by Berry Cool Designs

Pressed Flower Bookmark by B Garden Creations
Mini Flower Brooch by Gemini Dragonfly  

Hope there are flowers blooming all around you!
Love, Steph