Friday, November 07, 2014

Puttering around the house

Mountain in the distance

It's just before 1pm, and I'm sitting down to write up this post.

I've spent my morning cleaning, organizing and doing the usual puttering around the house.  I do so love being a homemaker and taking care of my home, and I sometimes find that I don't get much time during the week to do all the projects I need or want to because I have homeschooling going on.

We usually take Fridays off, the kids are caught up during the week and Fridays are not only for relaxing but it's now a day that I use to catch up on Spanish with Jasmine, and get my homemaking and projects done.

I love being busy, I love the whole chaos and craziness of homeschooling 4 kids, but I also need time to myself to get my own things done, and it's not always possible, not to mention that time seems to just fly by during the weekdays and before I know it I have to get dinner on the table.

So anyway, today I decided to tackle my pantry and some of the kitchen cabinets.

When we moved into this house back in the middle of June, I organized things how I wanted them.  Truth is, you never really know how or if they will work for you until you've been living in that space for a while.

I've recently realized that a lot of things were not working for me and I've been meaning to tackle it for a while, so without putting it off any longer, today was the day.

As I said in my post about the cookbooks, I have a huge collection, and while I love that, they can be quite cumbersome and hard to find room for every single one.  I had some in the pantry, on the top shelf and then some in another shelf above my sink.  I guess I had them spread out through my kitchen in an attempt to find room for them all.

That was the first thing to tackle......

I moved them all out of the pantry and to the cabinet above my stove, was able to fit most of them in there and kept some on another shelf in the cabinet above the sink.  They're more at hand now and not so spread out as before.  I'm happy with that.

Chalkboard Labels

With my recent obsession with chalkboard paint, I came across these labels at the dollar store and I really like them.   Yes the chalk will rub off if rubbed against, but for the most part, they are on the jars in the pantry and not really being messed with too much.


I just love how they look and I like the fact that I can also change the contents of the jar as needed, and just edit the label to reflect what is inside.


As the months have gone by, the pantry has gotten progressively more disorganized. The kids and the husband go in there every day, whether to find lunch foods, or get cereal or a snack and they don't always put things back as neatly as I would like.

I gave it a good clean, went through everything and threw out things that were expired, and organized them by baskets according to needs, baking, cooking, pastas and rice etc.

Top Shelf.....all my jars with flour, sugar, rice, pasta, coffee and beans etc.
Second Shelf.....baking supplies.  From the left I have all my pie filling cans, a basket with cake, muffin and cookie mixes and chocolate chips, coconut etc.  Syrups, molasses, baking powder, cornstarch and extracts.  The small light blue basket holds food coloring, decorating items and such.  I also have my oils and bisquik mix.
Third Shelf....Canned goods, a basket with ramen noodles and other lunch items, the first big white basket holds snack items (I placed this basket and the ramen noodles for easy access to the kids), the next white basket holds all my pastas and rice mixes, instant mashed potatoes and stuffing.
Fourth Shelf.....all my cereals and porridges, potatoes and onions and my plastic tupperware containers that I use for leftovers.
On the very bottom....I have a big plastic container that holds different kitchen items that I don't use very often.  The two black and white containers next to it, the bottom one holds stuff that would usually go in a junk drawer (I don't have one in this kitchen), and the top container has smaller kitchen utensils like pastry brushes and rollers, apple corer etc.  Then I have a white basket for napkins and paper plates and right next to that all the 2 liter bottles of drink we have.

I think it looks a lot better and definitely much cleaner and tidier than before. :)

I wanted to quickly show you some other things around here, starting with my plants.  My chili plant has decided to give me some more chilies before winter.



My beets are also doing quite well


and so is my basil, don't you just love basil, it smells amazing.


I did a bit of baking, some weeks I tend to bake more than others, but this week was one of those where I was craving certain things and had to make them.

Measuring Cups

Date and Nut Loaf, you can find the recipe over at the blog. 

Date and Nut Loaf

Between the organizing and the usual housework, I also got some mail in. Two movies from Netflix, The Purge and The Invoking, I don't even remember putting these on my Queue but I'm sure I did or they wouldn't have sent them along. We will probably watch these either tonight or tomorrow night.


The other item that came in and got me really excited, was a box from Jamberry Nails for a review that I'm doing on Monday of next week, so stay tuned for that. So excited to try these over the weekend.

Jamberry Nails

From the left, Galactic for Jasmine, The white tips with bows for Tiffany, the Rose Sparkle for my sister in law Hayley and the Vintage Chic for me, of course, if it looks anything vintage or even remotely Cath Kidston inspired, I am all over it.

Let's see....what else did I want to tell you about?

You know before I started writing the post I had all these things to chat about and now I can't remember them all.  Go figure!

Right, I better go switch my laundry from the washer to the dryer and fold the load that is coming out.  Need to sort things to iron and put away, etc., then I think it's time for a cup of coffee and a sit down for a few to help Jasmine with her Spanish and other lessons, and if possible and we're done early, I can watch something on the Telly.

I have to tell you about The Passing Bells, it is a 5 part series set in World War I, I watched the first episode last night and really enjoyed it, have 3 more to watch and the new episode aired earlier today in the UK, so I'll try to catch that one later too.

Also have The Great Fire to finish watching, and a series of great documentaries on BBC called When Gothic Was Born.  So yes, lots to keep me busy the rest of the day.

Of course I'll have to take a break at 5pm so that I can get dinner done, tonight it's Chicken a la King with Rice.  Yum!

Autumn Leaf

We don't have anything planned for this weekend, other than spending some much needed family time, cleaning, and organizing our garage and taking care of the yards, need to get them ready for winter because I have a feeling it's right around the corner.

Lots of ice every morning, as you can see by my patio table

Ice on the patio table

and the trees are really bare around here.

Bare trees

Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastic Friday night and a wonderful weekend :)


  1. Chalkboard labels are great! Do you know about chalkboard markers? They are great! They don't come off until you use water. Have a great weekend!

  2. I have the great fire and passing bells recorded waiting to be watched. I was going to mention chalk pens as Wendi did, they are great! You are so right about needing to live somewhere or use a space before you know for sure how you want to get it organised and how it works best. We have been here for 10 years and I still move things round! xx

  3. Our trees still have a lot of green, but that may change quickly since it's really cooled off and we are supposed to have snow next weekend. I am NOT ready for snow. :-D

  4. I love planning out a place but it is great to get in there and learn what really works.

  5. Will you come organize my pantry?? lol. And I love your measuring cups. They're adorable. And I really liked The Purge: Anarchy. It was creepy!

  6. Oh, any suggestions on how to sufficiently take advantage of a deep narrow pantry? My kitchen is tiny so must of the storage space is in the pantry, but it's deep, so it's hard to know what's in there unless it's right in front.


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