Friday, February 12, 2010

create peace amongst the clutter

Clutter. Blah.

 When I find clutter, I am filled with the desire to
destroy. every. particle. 
However, that would be entirely impractical.
Solution? Organize it.
It will create a little peace in your home ;)

Sit back and relax, as I suggest for you some organizational tips

First up, your closet.  

{1} The right hanger makes all the difference in the world.  Trust me.  If you are using wire hangers, throw them away!  Don't even think twice about it.  Drop them in the trash can on your way to Target.
Most dry cleaners will also accept them. That would be a nice way to recycle your "unwanteds."

Personally, I like to stick with white, although random colors tend to sneak their way in from hubby's side (he's just not as picky).

wifey's side

hubby's side

My sister (in-law) - just to clarify but we drop that silly ending - uses white for shirts, black for dresses, and blue for pants.  Another great idea.
ps: she loves organizing,too
  Just make sure they're plastic!!

{2} Color coordinate. This might sound crazy, or overwhelming, but it insures that every piece of clothing fits in its appropriate scheme.
This technique also helps you resist the urge to jam the hangers in a random spot as you hurriedly hang up the clean laundry.

That should be enough to work on for one day.  Now, off with you, and rid yourself of those wire hangers!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


What do you do when you don't feel like going to the store b/c it's raining buckets outside and you can't think of anything worse than dragging yourself and your little one out into the rain? 
Scavenger hunt through the fridge and the pantry!
I learned this skill from my dad whose favorite kitchen challenge is when mom says, "we have nothing in this house to eat."  From that, he'll make the most delicious concoctions!
So I started in the fridge and opted for the ground turkey, but I didn't want to use it for spaghetti, tacos, or burgers, sooo...aha! meatballs! 

Sidenote:  The word "meatball" is rather revolting...a ball of meat...hmmm 
Well, despite how it may sound, mine are going to be delicious!

So, then I call my mom, who knows everything you could know about cooking, to rack her brain for a great recipe. Alas! She has never made meatballs, but she does give me a great tip:
"Make sure they're very moist.  Nothing is worse than a dry meatball!" -thanks mom!

So, the little one goes down for his nap and I am off to finish planning dinner.  I search for "homemade meatball recipes" and what do you know, there is one for turkey meatballs, 
said with an Italian accent "Turkey Meat-a-ballas".  
I'm off to the kitchen to create this yummy masterpiece, and I'll take you along on my adventure.

Here are the ingredients you'll need, most of which are pantry staples:

  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup soft fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning or blend of dried leaf oregano and basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash black pepper
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
**Fresh bread crumbs are not the same as dry bread crumbs**
thankfully, they're super easy to make
all you need is a few pieces of bread, a knife/blender/food processor

I started by trimming the crust...
Then, using my bread knife began shaving off 
bread crumbs
Wait, what?
I believe I forgot that we don't live in the stone age...

There, that's more like it.  
Using this little beauty made the process go by much quicker.
We're talking totally done in the time it took to trim the crust.

{1} Heat oven to 375°. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick foil.

{2} Combine turkey, cheese, 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs, egg, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir or mix on low speed of a stand mixer with paddle attachment until blended.
You can use a hand mixer if you don't own a stand mixer, but just beware that the turkey mixture may get nice and stuck inside the whisks.  You can't exactly lick it out like you might cookie dough...


 {3} Shape into small meatballs, about 2 inches each. I used my hands, but you could use a small cookie scoop, too.  Roll the meatballs in the find dry bread crumbs to lightly coat, then arrange the turkey meatballs 
on the baking sheet and dust with the dry bread crumbs. 



 {4} Bake for about 15 minutes, turning them after 8 minutes.  When they're done they'll be browned and cooked through. If you make larger meatballs, add 5 or more minutes.

{5} Pair with whole wheat pasta, pasta sauce, and something green!
{6} Smile as you and your family enjoy this delicious meal together.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

dress those windows

Nothing creates a warmer feeling in a room than a "dressed" window. Simply adding fabric to a window can make a room much more inviting.  Even though I know this to be true, we've lived in our house nearly a year, and I am just now dressing my windows.

Last week my mom came in town to help!
  Besides spending a couple of days with her, the best part of the project was how budget friendly everything was... 

{1)We shopped fabric stores with good quality, yet inexpensive fabric.
{2}We recovered the cornice boxes that were already here when we moved in.

As I'm writing this post, I realize that taking pictures of the whole process would make this much more interesting/ helpful...thanks for your patience...I'm still learning.  I guess I was too focused on the finish line!
  If you want to know how to build/cover a cornice box look here.

{3} Mom made the curtain for the nursery.  She has great sewing skill, and I am learning, slowly but surely, from her.
{4} I found those ideal white drapes at World Market for the master bedroom and tucked them into the cornice board with a tension rod.


I loved these rooms before, but now I just can't spend enough time there.  The family room windows are stuck on the back burner until I decide on new fabric for the loveseat, but I can't help thinking how white and plain that wall of windows is without fabric to soften its appeal.

Even more, I can't believe I've lived with that white wall for so long.  I just had to live here for a bit to make that decorating decision.  I'm going on another fabric hunt this weekend.  I'll let you know how it goes...

So, what do you think? How do you dress your windows?

(sorry for the dark colors-didn't realize 'til it was already uploaded)
the white drapes are there, 
just difficult to see due to the beautiful sunshine


 this is just to show you what they coordinate with

Want some other great tips?  Check out what the nester has to say. I can always find great ideas there!

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