Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pantry in Small Spaces

We all have a picture of our dream homes; for each of us that dream is something different. For me a big part of my dream revolves around the kitchen and a huge pantry.

I have a nice kitchen now but unfortunately no pantry; so I had to get creative and come up with a pantry in a small space.

If you have a two story home, you may have a space just like mine, you know that big almost seems like wasted space under the stairs?  In our last house, that area became a storage spot for winter coats, school supplies and just junk.

In my current house, it is our pantry.
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I got a big heavy duty metal shelf that we placed in the under the stairs closet.
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A friend saw a grocery store that was going out of business was selling the can sorters, so I jumped at the chance to get one.
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I also added a small bookshelf, just a cheap $15 one at the end of closet area for extra food.
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Our stairs curve, and so under the small area to the right (not pictured) is where our long term food storage is.  It isn't the ideal pantry, my husband calls it the dungeon, but it works and I now have a pantry.

What creative use of space have you done in your home or seen someone do?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Back to School Checklist

My kids start school in less than two weeks! I really am in denial, but also know it is time to get everything ready, so I have created a back to school check list.
back to school supplies

3 Weeks Before School

  [] Go through your kids closets, take out clothes that are too small or too worn out.  Create a donation and a throw away pile.

  [] Check your school supplies.  Do you have any left over from last year?  Get a list ready and then start watching the ads.  If you shop around you will be able to find great sales and often even free items at stores like Office Max and Staples.

  [] Clean out your In-Box.  Do you have a place you keep school papers?  If not this is a great time to get some sort of bin/file system for all those papers that will soon be coming.  I love the Power of Mom's MOM Organizational system.  If you have a box- clean out any extra papers, ready to start fresh for the new school year.
School Success

2 Weeks Before School
  [] Clothes Shopping- now that you know what your kids have grown out of, replace the wardrobe basics.   Don't forget socks and shoes!

  [] School supplies- if you do not have a list from your teacher yet, just buy a few of the basics you know you will need and wait for the list.  This is also a great time to buy any markers, crayons, pens, etc. you may want in your home during the year as prices won't be this low again until next school year.

1 Week Before School
  [] Plan lunches- if your kids buy, sit down with your kids and look at the school menus to see which days they want to buy, or begin planning lunches to pack.

       You can check out my Easy School Lunch Ideas posts:

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what to pack for lunch

[] Plan any back to school pictures/interviews you want to do- browse through Pinterest or what you did previous years so you don't forget to document the new school year.

The weekend before School
  [] Have one last summer fun day!  Something fun on your bucket list you didn't do?  Or how about a Yes Day!  We have made it our tradition to have our Yes Day a few days before school starts.
back to school tradition

The night before school
  [] Set out first day outfits, backpacks, lunch supplies (that can be set out the night before), school supplies, and camera

  [] First day tradition supplies- do you have your kids hold a sign on the first day or hold some type of memento?  Print out your sign, get things ready.  You don't want to have to rush the next morning.

The First Day
   [] Set your Alarm!  No more sleeping in summer days.  Plus remember the first day everything always takes longer, so plan for extra time.

   [] Take some pictures!  Don't forget those first day of school pictures.

   [] Cheer/celebrate and maybe even cry a little-- it's a new school year with all it's ups and downs, enjoy the time and realize how quickly it all goes.


So ready or not, here school comes!  What is on your back to school checklist?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday 5: Games, Pajamas and Model Homes

Happy Friday everyone!  Time for Friday 5 (#Friday5) where you share 5 thoughts and 5 pictures from the week.  I am flying solo again this week and probably will for the next few weeks until school is back in session.  Yes, only a few weeks, actually two now, eek!

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5 Thoughts

1.  I love doing puzzles, it has been a long time since I have done any. When we were in Utah, at Costco I saw some puzzles from my favorite puzzle maker Eric Dowdle.  I planned on buying some but when we went back the next week they were gone!   I hopped on-line and ordered some new puzzles, they came yesterday!

2. This week was a very lazy week, for the last 5 days, we (the kids and I) only got dressed on two of them.  Otherwise there has been lots of puzzles, book reading, iPad playing and just being lazy.  We kind of all love it.  So if you had stopped by this last week, you would have most likely seen me in my piggy pajamas.

3. This week I read Four: The Divergent Collection, How Much Do You Love Me by Paul Mark Tag (so good about the Japanese Internment Camps during WWII), Sense & Sensibility a Latter Day Tale, and Willow Springs by Carolyn Steele.  See- lots of reading.  You can always see what I am reading and what I think about the books on Goodreads.   I will be reviewing three of those books next month on the blog.

4. This weekend we went and looked at some new homes being built; I love going and touring model homes, it always gives me so many decorating ideas but it also leaves me with that itch and unsettled feeling like it is time to move.  We actually probably won't be and have been in our current house a record length of time, it is almost strange to be in one place so long, but we do love it here.

5. I got Ryder's preschool schedule and the kids school supply list in the mail this week.. it really is coming!

5 Pictures
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Last Friday I photographed this cute week old little guy- he was born on the 4th of July
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Loved the walls (and the floors) in this master bedroom of one of the model homes-so going to do this to my room!
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She has always wanted a banana split- Friday she got one- a reward for being so good while I did the newborn photo shoot
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One of the Eric Dowdle puzzles I did this week- a little Christmas in July
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Crazy games of Old Maid going on- and yes he is in his pajamas still

What is your Friday 5 this week?


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cookie Goodness

Lots of sugar,
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mix and drop
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cookie goodness,
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just can't stop.
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Neat little cookies...
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in a row.
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Oops! Some mess
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wouldn't you know.
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But making cookies with little hands 
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is the best.
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and oh so grand!  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Early Mornings

"We had better go take our seats, the show is going to start." I say.  We begin walking through the massive theater, I am astounded at how huge it is.

"Mommy! Mommy"-- the call wakes me from my dream.  I reluctantly roll over and look at the clock.  My mind can't yet process what the two hands pointing at fully mean, I just know it is early, too early.

I roll out of bed and head to Ryder's room, he is sitting up on his bed, rubbing his eyes.  5:59 AM his clock reads.

"Oh look, it isn't 6 yet, I say pointing to the first number, so lay back down and sleep a little more."

Thankfully, he doesn't really know the other numbers yet and doesn't realize if he just held out a tiny longer that first number would be 6.

I wrap him back up them stumble back into bed.  My eyes are closed before I even hit the pillow.

"Mommy, Mommy!"  I hear again.  I roll and peer at the clock-6:15, I know his wake up is inevitable now.

I shuffle back into his room, trying to wake the sleep from my eyes.

"It's 6 now!" he says as soon as he sees me.
"Yep, it's six now" I say trying to smile.

He reaches out for me, I scoop him up and he gives me a big hug.

It's going to be a good day.... early morning and all.

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