Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Good morning sunshines! How are you this icy cold January morning? I’m pretty frozen right now… this must be how the cavemen felt during the freakin' ice age!! Got the kids off to school and the crocks warmed and working already! Gotta go pick up my son’s medicine prescriptions, but that’s pretty much it for the day. I have a strong suspicion I am getting sick and my health has really been aggravated by the cold weather… hense… mom’s gonna go back to bed as soon as she can! So did you check out yesterday’s blog? I think it’s a cool prize and if I were sitting out there reading this instead of writing it, you bet I would enter LOL! Make sure you become a registered follower so that you can be eligible!

Alright, many of you know that I don’t really watch a lot of television or stuff like that. So I get my news and such mainly online and the radio in the car. Well I was reading this one article about organizing your life and since organizing the house and such is one of my goals for 2010, I figured I’d see what they had to say. It was called “The A to Z guide to Organizing” and was featured on Yahoo’s Shine yesterday morning. Many of them were obvious ones, but there were a few that made me say “Hey not bad idea there peeps!” And I consider myself a pretty good organizer LOL. But just in case getting organized is one of your goals (or resolutions or whatnot LOL) for this upcoming year, I’ll share the ones that made me think with you…

A: Assign a Color Scheme
Banish cries of “It’s not mine!” by color-coding your kids’ gear all through the house. Stick to a signature shade for each child’s toothbrush, bath towel and backpack, so you can tell at a glance which stuff belongs to which kid. Buy a colored bin for each child, too, to use as a handy drop spot for stray toys and clothes. Each night before bed, have your kids empty their own bin, returning items to their rightful places.

I: Institute an All-In-One Rule
Bring order to a messy linen closet by putting folded sets of bed linens inside one of the pillowcases. No more searching for the flat sheet that matches the fitted sheet: Just grab a complete set and go.
- I’m SOO doing this! And if I have any unmatching odd pillowcases, sheets, etc… they will either find other uses or be gone!

U: Unclutter with Color
To make organizing less painful, place colorful dot stickers or shipping tags on things you’re not sure you’re ready to part with. If you wear the shirt, use the breadmaker, or play the board game sometime in the next six months, peel off the sticker or tag. After six months, anything that’s still dotted or tagged goes into your giveaway box.

Z: Zip It Up
Keep small, easy-to-lose items (craft supplies, game pieces, itsy-bitsy toys, etc.) from going MIA permanently by putting them into a zippered mesh bag each time you find one. The zipper keeps them safe, the mesh keeps them visible. Thread a ribbon through the zipper pull and hang the bag on a hook in an accessible spot. No more “Mom, I can’t find…!
”- Maybe not mesh bags but I am thinking of making some clear vinyl zippered bags to hang stuff! That would be cool!

Then there are some of my personal favorites that we already implicate in our house, but maybe you can too if you don’t already!

H: Hang It Up
“I’m a mom of four and my mudroom looked like a disaster area all the time,” says Christine Vick, cofounder of the organizing website StoreandStyle.com. “So I filled a whole wall with bathrobe hooks. They make it much easier for my kids to store their coats in the winter, and their swimsuits and beach towels in the summer.”-
we have hooks ALL over the house that I got one day at the Home Depot and Just started hanging! I also bought some of those unfinished wooden peg/coat racks at Hobby Lobby and covered them in fabric to match the kids’ room décor and hung them up there too!

L: Streamline Your Laundry
“For 70 percent of the women I work with, laundry is the biggest problem,” says Ricks. “They just don’t have the habit of finishing the job.” Instead of doing marathon sessions once or twice a week—and never getting through the whole pile because, let’s face it, who wants to wash all those clothes?—designate different days for different kinds of laundry: whites, darks, towels, sheets. A massive pileup is easier to tackle when you break it down into manageable chunks, and knowing exactly how much you have to get done that day helps you stay on track.

M: Maximize Your Minutes
Got a few seconds to spare? Don’t just stand there—declutter. Keep a list of super-quick organizing tasks, then tackle one when you’re, say, waiting for water to boil. Use the time to chuck expired food from the fridge. Minutes here and there can add up to a tidier house.

N: Build a Household Notebook
Restyle a three-ring binder into command central. Divvy it up with tabbed categories such as Contacts, Food and Activities. Then stock it with class phone lists, school lunch schedules, blank calendars and more so everything you need is at your fingertips. Even easier, download cute printable forms, like a weekly chore sheet or a menu planner-
we have 2 big dry erase marker boards at the front wall of the house next to the front door. One is a calendar and I make sure it is kept up daily with band and football practices, doctor visits, etc. So everyone knows what’s going on and who needs to be where when!

P: Put Up a Pegboard
“They’re great for garages, but also work well in storage closets,” says professional organizer Stephanie Shalofsky, owner of the Organizing Zone in New York City. “You can hang up things like a stepladder, dusters and mops.
”- Works great everywhere! Hang them in your kitchen like Julia Childs did for her pots and pans and utensils, in the kids rooms for wall organizing, etc. We have them in the kitchen, my bedroom, and the kids rooms!

S: Stash it Underneath
You’ve heard about stowing seasonal clothes like sweaters in slim bins under the bed. Don’t stop there. Also use plastic storage bags that you can vacuum-suction flat and slide them beneath footed sofas and bookcases.

T: Supersize Your Trash Can
The smaller it is, the less likely you are to throw things away. Buy a behemoth of a wastebasket and you’ll purge more freely.-
we did this a long LONG time ago and STILL Have to take it out almost daily LOL! BUT a word of caution… be careful cause if you pile it too heavy, you either rip the bag or can’t get it out of the can! Yes, I made that mistake (and still do occasionally LOL)!

W: Waste Not, Want Not
Kitchen storage doesn’t have to stay in the kitchen: Look for ways to repurpose seldom-used items that are taking up space. Turn a spice rack into a clever spot to corral toiletries in the bathroom. Convert a utensil holder into an art supply organizer in your kid’s desk drawer.

X: Add Extra Storage
Go to extremes to find more space—use areas near the floor and ceiling. Install wooden shelving and brackets along one wall of your living room, about a foot beneath the ceiling. It’s the perfect place for an overflow of books. Then go low and line the dead zone at the bottom of a hall closet with baskets to stow extra blankets.-
We put up shelves in the pantry and bathrooms and a bunch of other places! I love shelves! I also bought a couple of those single drawer cabinets at the Walmart and put them side by side and use them as a coffee table! With a long glass top and a pretty table runner, you can’t even tell!

OK, so now you know some of the things I do to keep my house up and running with the tons of people who come through daily! Hope you can achieve your goals in 2010! Now food… some of you out there seem to think my intention with all these recipes is to fatten you up LOL! That’s not it at all… my intention was to share a bit of my home cookin’ with you. WAIT… OMG you’re right! I am gonna make you fat! LOL… shoot my husband has gained about 100 pounds since marrying me and the DS18 claims to have put on 30 pounds last year alone… hmmmm… maybe we should research some HEALTHIER recipes LMAO! NAHHH… I’m fluffy… and I like it! I take pride in knowing that I won’t break a bone when I fall down or freeze and blow away in the wind! LMAO. Not that being slender is a bad thing… by no means am I saying that! My DD15 is very slender and tall… and I think its great. My point in all this rambling I guess is love the skin you’re in! For me… fluff’s the stuff baby! LOL! Now let’s get down to some delish meals that will make your mouth water. Here is one you can make after Halloween with those carved leftover pumpkins you normally would just throw away. I make it and freeze it for enjoying during the cold winter months.

Hearty Pumpkin Stew


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic cloves, minced
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups peeled, cubed pumpkin
1 cup cubed potato
1 large sweet potato, chopped
2/3 c. of wine
1/2 teaspoon parley
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon basil


In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add meat, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a Dutch oven, brown meat in oil and butter. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add meat mixture and all remaining ingredients to slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for about 6 hours.

Stir in pumpkin. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Discard bay leaves.

For dessert I found this recipe that just sounds heavenly! It’s for Caramel Apple Crumble Pie. I’ve had a sweet tooth since yesterday and this just looked divine!

Caramel Apple Crumble Pie


1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, cubed

1 (9 inch) single pie crust
6 apples - peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup caramel sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch


1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. To make the topping, combine the oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, slivered almonds, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside.

3. Roll out the pie dough into a circle and transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the pastry and crimp the edge. Toss the apples with the lemon juice in a bowl to prevent browning. Combine the 1 tablespoon flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon; and cornstarch; toss with the apples to coat. Drizzle 1/4 cup of caramel sauce over the bottom of the pie shell. Add the spiced apple mixture; drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup of caramel sauce. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the apples.

4. Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the crust is browned

Well that’s it kids. In a little bit I am gonna run to get my kids’ scripts and then its back in my warm cozy bed that cradles these aching bones! Just yet ANOTHER reason I love my crock pots! I’ll meet you here tomorrow… HUGS!

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