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Quick Organizing Fixes

I was able to get out with the girls a bit last week and found two great organizing items to share with you.

First, I love the Target's Dollar Spot.  You can always find storage items there.  That is where I found this hexagonal tray.  Trays are great for gathering things together that have to sit out on a counter.



(Careful when picking one out--lots of the corners are chipped or broken!)  I bought two.  The other one corrals my kitchen sink items (sink plugs, hand soap, lotion, etc.)  The danger of the Target Dollar Spot (or anywhere) is buying a storage container becaue it is cute or a great deal.  If you buy a container and do not have a use for it, then it becomes clutter (aka part of the problem).  Now you have to store it/ hope you find it/ remember you have it when something comes along for which you can use it.  That is why I'll probably head back with this item.



Only $3, but it does not work in the space I originally wanted to use it.  I'm looking out for another use, but nothing so far.

My other quick fix was this jewelry organizer at Kohls.



On sale for $12, it is acutally an egg holder.  I was looking for cute earring and ring storage for a drawer.  They have other colors, but I felt white would help me identify what I needed.  Actually, there were lots of fun ceramic items at Kohl's.  I also liked the berry box but since I didn't have a use for it, it stayed.

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Have any quick organizational fixes?  Let me know in the comments!

Did You Miss National Clutter Awareness Week?

We are closing up National Clutter Awareness Week today.  As one with an interest in decluttering and organizing, I thought I'd bring it to your attention.  You're probably saying, "What is special about this week?  I am already aware of my clutter."  Honestly, nothing.  A few blogs stated, "National Clutter Awareness Week is the perfect time to start spring cleaning and organizing!" 

Really?  Are you thinking, "I am so annoyed with this stupid junk drawer.  But, I'll wait until that special week to clean it out."  Um, no.  If you are like me, you will live alongside your clutter until it hampers your ability to function and you get frustrated with it.  But of course, at that exact moment of frustration, you don't have time to organize your junk drawer.  You were just looking for batteries for your kid's electronic something-or-other on your way out the door.

If you find yourself in this scenario, may I make a suggestion?  Write on a post-it note, "Organize junk drawer" and put it on your computer.  Then when you sit down to cruise the internet, you will see it and think, "Maybe cleaning out that junk drawer will be more beneficial to me than finding out what Full House character I am." (Jesse Katsopolis).  If you're really serious about it, write it on your calendar for a specific day you know you will have a few minutes to devote to the task.  Also, take a picture of your junk drawer before you tackle it and you can be a part of The Junk Drawer Project.  Very fascinating.

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 Here's one more great tip if you want to declutter a bit.  Go to a room and pick out four things that really belong somewhere else and then, put them away.  Things you have been walking past for days.  You can even time yourself.  It took me 1 minute 58 seconds to put away four things that were cluttering my living room in their proper places.  The great thing about this tip- you usually get inspired at your progress and keep going!

Having a space that is clean and free of clutter is nice.  It helps you to relax in a way you didn't even know you were tense.  That is why I love organizing!

Pinteresting Foods

I am running out of titles for these.  I think I will pick one name and just keep adding roman numerals after it.  Vote on your favorite below!

Let's start off with what I call Pretty Much Awesome Brownies.  I found the recipe here.  I brought these as a snack to the workers at VBS so I couldn't keep the original name, which wasn't church appropriate.  The road to pretty much awesome includes chocolate chip cookie dough, Oreos and brownies.  Let's just take a moment to admire the awesome, shall we?

And I still have the brownies to go!  When they come out of the oven (smelling pretty much awesome), they look a bit like this...

But wait, when you cut them you get this...

Yes and yes.  I cut these in small pieces because they were so rich.  I also cut them up and put them on a plate so no one knew I had one or two before I gave them away.  ;o)

Chicken Caprese


Like the author of this recipe, I too love the wonderful combination of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil.  Beautiful too, isn't it?  I REALLY want to grow basil here in the new house.  Let me know your basil growing experience in the comments because I want to be successful here!  Outside and maybe inside during the winter?  I have a great area for a potted plant in my kitchen.  I digress...

This meal has two pinterest recipes in it:

Pesto Chicken Pizza


I love pesto! (So, not a surprise that) This was amazing! I don't recall if I made this pesto or not, but regardless, the pizza was so good. Definitely making this one again.  Here is the recipe, but essentially it is pizza with pesto instead of pizza sauce.  We topped it with fresh tomatoes and chicken.

I also tried some Sauteed Corn, Bacon and Scallions with the pizza.  Yum and yum.  I might have actually used real bacon and not turkey bacon.  I really wish I had some bacon-cooking skills.  Sigh.

Garlic Pesto Chicken with Tomato Cream Penne



The author of this recipe suggests not using skim milk, and I would agree.  She also says to use half a bottle of marinade for two chicken breasts and that was too much.  I'll try 1/3 or 1/4 a bottle next time.  The flavor of the chicken really goes well with the flavor of the pasta.

Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders


These made the whole house smell good.  And they tasted just as great!  The recipe can be found here.  I cooked these until they were dark with very little liquid left in the pan- perfect!

There you have it- more adventures in making recipes found on Pinterest.  Don't forget to share your basil growing tips in the comments!


Card Creations

It's been awhile. My wonderful crafting desk and I have not spent much time together since we moved.  Only recently did I start creating again and it feels wonderful! I have a small desk microwave cart from the old house just for my Cricut and (surprise!) it gets much more use then when I had to pull it out and put it on the floor.


This was created in the old house.  It was actually the last card I made there.  It is the thank you card for the gifts and meals people blessed us with when Camille was born.  Someone did ask, so I will clarify that yes, that is my handwriting and not a stamp.


My mom has a wonderful crafting area too.  She was the one who inspired me to make my own cards.  I made a birthday card for my sister-in-law over there while we were between houses.


This is the first card created in my new craft space. I even pulled out the Cuttlebug (so I could use my new embossing folder, of course).  It is a wedding card that still needs to be sent, actually.  :o)  It is also my first experiment with watercolor pencils.  I made a few of those hearts and then incorporated them into several different designs:


 And



Water color pencil takes a bit of getting used to.  I got some watercolor paper so it wont warp when I go over it several times with water.

Then, a birthday card for my mother-in-law:


Clearly I'm still trying to find a great area to take pictures of my cards!

The 9 month check-up that didn't exactly go as planned

Here is sweet Camille at 9 months.


Love this baby!  She probably receives thousands of kisses a day.  I have to take all I can get before she goes anywhere. Notice anything though?


How about here?


Woah!  What happened to the happy baby?  Well, we tried to sit her up.  Our nine-month-old is still not sitting upright by herself.  The doctor was a bit concerned about this.  I wasn't too surprised at her concern, but still, it was not fun to hear.  Annique had some physical delays too, but they did not manifest until later, as she was sitting up at nine months.  It amounted to Infant and Toddler Services of Johnson County part 2.

Fortunately, we had an excellent experience with them as they helped Annique learn to walk (which she finally did at 18 months) and helped with nutrition advice since she fell off the weight chart a bit.  That is another way Camille is following her sister.  Her weight leveled off a bit from the six-month to the nine-month check-up, so we have an extra weigh-in next month to see if it is a trend or a fluke.  Sigh.

Honestly though, I'm OK with this, as things could be way worse.  Also, it is also nice to have been down this road before with Annique so I'm not totally in the dark about the process.  Right now we're waiting on a call from the Family Services Coordinator to schedule an evaluation.  The evaluation will determine if Camille qualifies for services.  Services depend on the need, but for Annique it was a physical therapist and a nutritionist that came to our house for therapy and weigh-ins.  We are SO BLESSED to have this free, quality program in our area!  Please pray with us that she starts sitting up on her own or qualifies for these services!

Apparently, Dan and I make beautiful, blue-eyed girls who have allergies, slow weight-gain, and some physical delays.  We're two for two anyway!

Stats:
  • head size- 25th percentile
  • weight- 16lbs 4oz, 10th percentile
  • height- 29 1/4 inches, 90th percentile

Pinished Foods

Ah, cooking.  So much variety.  So many opportunities to try new things.  I'm thankful I cook because it gives me yet another way to bring Pinterest to life.  Here are more recipe reviews from things I've actually made. 

Baked Cheesy Tomatoes


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These were a quick and delicious side dish.  Just pop some tomatoes in the oven with some cheese and herbs and you get these!  Will do this again.

Gluten-Free Granola


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I love finding a good recipe for something that is expensive at the store!  I need to practice with this more because I didn't check on it when it was close to being ready, so it burned a bit.  I still liked this and we ate it all!

Honey Balsamic Carrots


These were not beautiful to photograph, but they were awesome to eat! I really like vegetables in a balsamic reduction, but a kitchen fan would be so useful.  The kitchen smells strongly of vinegar when I make these.  I found the recipe here.

  Chocolate Syrup


Although I didn't have a cute bottle like the author of the recipe did, I used my Cricut to cut some vinyl letters for this one.  This recipe is spot on and awesome.

Rolo Pretzels


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Simple and delicious.  It is just time-consuming to unwrap all the Rolos.

Ham and Mozzarella Melts with Sauteed Spinach


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Fast, easy and delicious!  These recpies are good to have around when you don't have tons of time to make dinner. Pretty cheap too.

It has been awhile since I made some of these and they're looking good to make again!  I'm still making my way through my "Pinished Foods" board and writing the reviews.  It may be a never-ending process because I'm also still pinning and trying new recipes...  Have you ever made anything from Pinterest that found its way into your regular meal rotation?

Baby-Led Weaning

Meal times are so much fun with Camille!  She just jumps in and eats whatever we're having and absolutely loves the process.  We're just letting her feed herself--right from the start.  This process is called Baby-Led Weaning.  The term is of British origin.  Across the pond they use "weaning" to mean "adding solids."  This term does not mean "cessation of breastfeeding."


A dear friend told me about Baby Led Weaning and it just seemed to make sense.  For my first kid, I enjoyed making all of her purees myself.  I knew where everything came from and what exactly she was eating.  The problem this go-round?  TIME.  Now that she is three-and-a-half, how would I find time to eat myself if I was making purees, freezing them, thawing them, feeding them to the baby, and making Annique's meal?  The idea that I could skip this spoon-feeding stage was so intriguing.  I checked out the book and liked what I read.  There are some precautions.  I've adapted my cooking to be free of added salt, because her little kidneys can't handle all the sodium.  You also can't feed her too much processed food, again because of the sodium (crackers, cereal, even bread are very high in sodium!).  We're weeding out processed foods for the whole family, but we are still on that journey- we haven't arrived.

At first, not much was getting down.  Not a problem, since her nourishment was still breast milk at that point (and still is).  It was so cute to watch her pick up food and gum it.


See?  Now, however, things are definitely getting in there.  She seems to like everything (well, asparagus didn't have a first good run, but we'll try it again).  She tries everything.  And, she makes a mess of everything.  :o)  She really gets excited when we put her in the high chair.

Lovin' some broccoli.
It is fun to watch the progress of her pincer grasp.  She can pick up peas and corn kernels and get them into her mouth with increasing accuracy.

Exploring curry chicken.
The social aspect is great, too.  For dinner, the whole family is around the table, eating, talking, and enjoying each other (unless the three-year-old is low on sleep, not too much to enjoy there).

Token spaghetti picture.
Definitely check out the book or poke around the Baby-Led Weaning website because this mom says IT IS SO WORTH IT!  Camille thinks so, too.

Thumbs up for baby-led weaning!

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