Monday, January 14, 2013

Food Storage Revamp

Today I had the chance to go grocery shopping by myself. You know you are a mom of small children when going to the grocery store alone feels like a vacation! I went to Trader Joes which makes the experience even better because these days shopping at TJs with my kids is a nightmare. The aisles are so small and it's always crowded and my little ones' arms seem to reach sooo far. 

Anyway... I went shopping and when I got home and put everything away, I realized that it's high time for a little fridge/freezer/pantry reorganization. I grabbed a few pictures for inspiration off Pinterest. There were a lot of great ideas for french door style refrigerators but we have a traditional side by side so I tried to stick with pictures showing the same layout.
*Please pin these from the original source. It takes a few seconds extra but directs people to the real source that deserves the credit.
I included the last example even though it's french door style because it has some good tips about actual food storage and not just how to keep things from falling all over the place. 

Now in the name of keeping it real, here are the before pix of my fridge and freezer. I love them being full, but hate that all the organizing I've done in the past has kind of fallen to the wayside. 

Umm.... whoa. The freezer looks like it could all come tumbling out at any minute. 

After some strategic rearranging and cleaning the shelves, drawers and walls of the fridge and freezer, here are the after photos. 
I used some white plastic bins from Ikea and Target to corral the lunch meats, yogurt and snacks since those things seem to quickly spread out and take over. I had the plastic bin meant for juice boxes which I used for a few randoms since we don't typically have a lot of juice boxes on hand. 

I removed the fruits and veggies from their plastic bags so we could not only see what we have in the bins but also how much is left.
Amazingly I didn't have that much expired food to toss. I go through everything quickly almost every week the night before the trash gets picked up so pretty much what we had was useable. I did get rid of a bunch of packaging just to clear out space. It's also easier to see what you have if it's not in a box.

I'm very happy with the results and it's a great way to start the week feeling so organized! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Gift For A Lifetime

I love opening presents. I think it makes me feel a little bit like a kid again, remembering all the anticipation that would build before a birthday or Christmas morning. My own children are at the point where the process of opening almost overshadows the gift itself. This past Christmas, we could barely contain my daughter as she sped from one package to the next. I get it. Really I do. But I'm also old enough experienced enough to know that peeling off the paper is a momentary thrill while the gift itself holds the real value (well, usually).

Even the best gifts rarely have true lasting power. I don't mean to sound pessimistic or ungrateful, but the truth is clothes will go through wear and tear, gift cards get spent, make up gets used up. Even my fabulous macbook from last Christmas will at some point need to be replaced (hopefully not for a long, long time). But this year, my sister gave me a gift meant to last a lifetime.
My Prudent Advice by Jaime Morrison Curtis is a sort of fill-in-the-blanks journal meant to be passed from a mother to her daughter. It's broken into sections like "On Friendship" or "On Being a Woman" and each section has a series of writing prompts that allow a mom to pass on her thoughts and/or advice to her daughter. There are also "free" sections where you can write about the section's theme without any specific prompt.

You could probably sit down and fill this book in a matter of months, but since my daughter is still so young, I plan to take my time over the next several years to finish. I think it would make a great gift for her 18th or 21st birthday or when she graduates from high school or even college. There's nothing inappropriate but some of the topics are a little more mature, which makes me think it would be a better gift for when she's older. Not that I didn't have a sincere interest in politics or education when I was 13... right, so you get my point.

I have already started writing in it and it makes my heart lurch just a little to think of my baby girl as a young woman reading what I've written to her. Although I hope to have a long time to share all these things, one bonus of the written word is that it has some serious staying power. That's also why I'm being careful and intentional about what I write. I want her to have a collection of my thoughts and advice that she can return to even after I'm gone someday. I'm very grateful to my sister for this gift and while I'm in no hurry, I look forward to the day when I can pass this to my sweet baby girl.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Best of 2012

I thought that it would be fun to kick off 2013 by looking back at some of my best posts from 2012. A lot of blogs I read have been doing this and I personally really like seeing the highlight reel from the past year. So here are some of the favorites, both mine and yours (based on comments and pageviews). As always, I'm thankful to those who take the time to visit!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Starting 2013 With A Bang

Happy New Year! I am so excited for all that this next year will bring, both for my family and this blog. I have a lot of home projects in mind and I hope to share them with all of you. You probably noticed I took a little bit of a break from posting these last few weeks and I can only blame the busyness of the holidays. I did some good pre-Christmas shopping and planning but once the ball got rolling, it was moving a little faster than I expected. I guess it was just a good reminder to plan ahead even better next year.

I needed to step back from the blog in order to really enjoy the holiday season with my little family. We did so many fun things together during the month of December and it all culminated in a lovely Christmas and New Year celebration. The kids had a blast on Christmas morning and my Christmas dinner turned out extremely well (with a lot of help from my amazing sister)! I will share the menu one of these days and maybe even some pictures if I can scrounge any up. Even though I was pretty excited with how my holiday decorating turned out, I managed to not take any pictures before I took it all down. Well done, blogger, well done. Oh well. Not much to do about it now :)

After all of the crazy, fun chaos of the holidays, I was ready to settle back into our normal routine. Instead, as a belated Christmas present for me and the hubs (not really) my little guy climbed out of his crib for the first time on Sunday. Instead of crossing off some other tasks on the to-do list, the hubs and I spent Sunday afternoon taking down his crib and putting together a new big-boy bed. Our little guy will be two at the end of this month and I reallllly wasn't ready for him to be out of the crib, but I also wasn't prepared to risk him climbing out again and getting seriously hurt. So far he's done pretty good in his new bed, although naptime mostly involves him turning on his lights and looking at books or pulling the clothes out of his dresser. Nothing like starting the new year off with some major transition.

Hope everyone's year is off to a wonderful start and I look forward to sharing some good stuff soon!
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