Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tuesday's Tip - Simple Organized Kids School Work

Today I am sharing how I organize my kids past school work.  I know some people have awesome filing systems or scrapbooking methods to organize their kids keepsake school work, but all of that is a bit too much work for me - especially when I consider the following story.

Right after my husband and I were married, his mother brought out a box of keepsakes for us to take to our house.  I guess she was sick of storing it.  It contained old school work, report cards, art projects, etc.  After we got home, my husband went through it quickly and then threw it all away.

Most likely, my boys will be the same way, so I don't want to hold on to every little thing, or spend hours and hours on some fancy system to organize their things.  But, on the off chance that they are a little more sentimental than their dad, I want to make sure that I hang onto at least a few things from each year.



So, my simple solution is just a bin for each one of them.  I store them on the shelves of their closets, and then when something comes home that I think I want to hang onto, I simply put it in the bin.  About once a year, we get them down, the boys look through everything and we decide if there is anything that can be tossed.  So far, the bins have not filled up - although my older boys may need a second bin in the next year or two.  My boys enjoy looking through their old work, and I have to admit, I enjoy it too.  It is fun to remember them when they were littler, and to see how far they have come.


I don't even give these bins a pretty label.  I just use a black sharpie to put their name in the corner, and we are good to go.

So, if you are looking for a simple, fuss-free way to organize your kids past homework/art projects, I highly recommend this method.  It is nothing fancy, but it works.

I have created an affiliate link below to the bins that I use and love.  They are nothing fancy, but they are functional and durable.  I have had mine for years and they still look like new.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Organized Kitchen Drawers

I am popping in to share a bank of my kitchen drawers that I have finally gotten around to straightening up.  One of the best things about my new kitchen is my lower cabinets are mostly made up of drawers rather than cupboards.  I love how easy it is to get to everything, and that I never have to unload an entire cupboard to get to something in the very back.

Today, I am sharing the bank of drawers that is to the left of my sink.  The top drawer is shallow and then there are two deep drawers below it.


The top drawer hold dishtowels and dishrags.  These are hard working rags, and it looks like it may be about time for some replacements.  I didn't change anything in this drawer.  It usually looks like this.

The next two drawers are a different story . . .


The next drawer down holds our water bottles.  This may seem like overkill, but with five boys playing sports, we have multiple practices and games each week.  So, we use most of these bottles on a weekly basis.  As you can tell, this drawer was a complete mess.


It didn't take long to separate the lids and containerize them and then I just straightened up the bottles. It looks way better and works more efficiently too.


The bottom drawer was a mess of containers that I use for leftovers, and school lunches.


Again, I found a container to house all the lids, and then I took out some containers that I don't really use and straightened up the rest.  It didn't take long, but I feel so much better every time I open this drawer.

I will be back soon to share another section of newly organized kitchen.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tuesday's Tip - Stirring Natural Peanut Butter


I love natural peanut butter, but I don't love stirring it.  See that layer of oil on the top?  Stirring that back into the thicker peanut butter that has settled below it is a necessary evil.  If you eat natural peanut butter you know what I am talking about.

Before I learned this little trick, I always just took a large knife or spoon and did the best I could to stir the peanut butter together, but I always made a mess and I never did  a great job.  The top of the jar was still a little loose and oily and the bottom of the jar had peanut butter that was so thick I could hardly use it.

One day, while on Instagram, I saw this little tip given by SimpleHealthyLiving.  It was one of those moments for me that I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of this idea myself.  It is so smart.


Just dump the entire jar of peanut butter in your mixer.  Scrape it out well, so you are sure to get everything.



Beat the peanut butter together in your mixer until everything is evenly incorporated.  I used my Kitchenaid.  She does two jars at a time in her Bosch mixer.

Put the peanut butter back in the jar and store it in the refrigerator.

Since I have started doing this, my peanut butter is always the same consistency, and we haven't had any trouble with it separating again once it is in the refrigerator.

I hope this little tip works as well for you as it has for me.

**I am not being paid by Adams for featuring their peanut butter.  It is just one of several brands that I have tried and liked, and happened to be the one that I had on hand this time around.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Organized Bathroom Drawers

I recently organized my bathroom drawers.  I want to share them - not because I have the cutest organizers, or any groundbreaking new organizing ideas, but because with all the construction, and moving that has been going on around here I am T I R E D.  I hate living in a disorganized house, but I have been having such a hard time finding the energy to get everything in the shape I would like it to be.  So, finally, I decided I had better start organizing, taking pictures, and posting them to help me be motivated. 

There will probably be quite a few posts like this coming, as I work my way through my house.

I have two banks of drawers for me in my bathroom vanity.  My husband has another bank of drawers, but I won't be sharing those.  I never thought I would fill up both banks, but somehow I managed to do it.  


So, first up, this is the top drawer and the one I am in most often.  It holds my toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, contact lens case, and my face products that I use daily.


The next drawer down holds my make-up.  Do you think my brushes have seen better days?

The polka-dot bag in the back of the drawer holds things like nail clippers, manicure scissors, tweezers, etc.


The next drawer down holds hair styling tools.  I keep waiting for my blow dryer to die.  It is seriously over 15 years old and even though it is still going strong, I am just sure it is going to give out on me one of these days.


The bottom drawer holds pedicure supplies.


The next bank of drawers holds clippers for cutting the boys hair, a mirror, ponytail holders, bobby pins, and other miscellaneous hair supplies.


The next drawer down, holds various spa-day type stuff.


This drawer holds all the new spare products that I like to have close at hand whenever I run out of something.


Finally, under the sink I have bins that hold lotions, hair products, saline solution, etc.

So, there you have it.  My organized bathroom drawers.  It is nice to have at least one space in the house that is a little more the way I like it.  On to the next one!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Organized Homework Drawer



The new school year is upon us, and yesterday I decided that it was time to clean out a drawer in the kitchen and designate it our homework supplies drawer.  My kids do their homework at the kitchen island, so I wanted their supplies to be close at hand.  This particular drawer had become a sort of junk drawer while we were building our house, and it remained that way after we moved in - which drove me crazy.  I am so happy it has a purpose now.


Last year, when we were still building our house, and living in our little rental property, I put together this homework box to save space.  I blogged about the details of it here.

This system worked pretty well for us, so I just refilled the box with new supplies and stuck it in the drawer.  It will be easy to pull out when it is homework time and easy to put away when the boys are finished.


The drawer also holds a basket for all those papers and reminders that are sent home from the school(s).  I can put them there until I have time to deal with them.  I don't love the little basket, but it was the right size and only $1.00, so it will do until I find something I like better.  I also added a little notebook for when I need to send a note with one of my kids to the school.  The drawer also holds my planner, (which I only use to plan meals and jot down the projects I hope to get to that day) and a couple of little bins for my supplies that I need often like pens, tape, and scissors. Finally. if you look really closely, you can see a cute little aqua ruler in the drawer.

It is so nice to have this drawer organized and ready for the school year to start.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Butterscotch Bubble Loaf

This is a recipe, that I generally only make once a year - - for breakfast on Christmas morning. Recently my husband's office had a breakfast for lunch day, and he brought this.  It was inhaled in about five minutes.  Last week, the office had a breakfast before the last day of school, so he took it again.  This time, I decided to snap a few pictures while I was making it and share them on the blog.

This recipe is widely available, but I have found that there are several variations, so this is my favorite.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Butterscotch Bubble Loaf

24 frozen dinner rolls (dough, thawed and halved)
1 small box butterscotch non-instant pudding mix
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

Thaw rolls until soft.  Cut in half and put the rolls in a gallon bag containing the pudding mix.  Seal the bag and shake so all rolls are coated with pudding mix.  Place the rolls in a bundt pan prepared with non-stick spray, and then sprinkle the remaining pudding mix over the top.  Combine brown sugar and butter and heat together until butter is melted and a syrup is formed.  Pour syrup over rolls.  Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and let rise until double in size.  Remove plastic wrap and bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes.  Cover with aluminum foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. Remove from oven, invert onto serving plate.  Can also make at night, place in refrigerator overnight and bake in the morning.

Now for a simple tutorial . . .


Place the entire contents of the small package of pudding mix into a gallon sized zip-top bag.  Make sure the pudding mix is the cook and serve type - not instant.


Thaw the rolls and cut in half.


Put the rolls in the zip-top bag with the pudding mix,shaking a bit as you go.  When all the rolls are in the bag, zip it closed and give it a good shaking, to make sure that all the rolls are coated.


Place the rolls in a bundt pan coated with non-stick cooking spray and then sprinkle the remaining pudding mix over the top.


Cook the butter and brown sugar together until it makes a syrup.  I find I have the best luck with getting them to come together if I used a whisk rather than a spoon or a spatula.


Pour the syrup over the rolls in the bundt pan.  Try to get it as evenly distributed as you can, but it won't coat everything.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap covered with non-stick spray and let rise, or pop them in the fridge to rise overnight.


This is what they look like when coming out of the refrigerator after rising overnight.


Bake as directed.  This is what they look like after coming out of the oven.


Invert onto a serving plate and serve while warm.

I apologize for the quality of these photos, the lighting in my kitchen at night is not the best for picture taking - and the final shot was taken in the work room at my husband's office, so the lighting wasn't the best there either - plus that bright blue tablecloth wasn't doing me any favors.  My dismal photography skills are really showing through on this one. 

Pretty pictures or not, this is a tasty recipe that is easy to prepare the night before and have a fuss free addition to breakfast in the morning.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Teacher Gifts


I pulled together some super-fast teacher gifts for my boys' teachers, since tomorrow is the last day of school.  You can check out my post about them on my other blog, 5 Little Guys.
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