Posts tagged ‘organization’

New Years Resolution

Happy 2012! This past year has flown by, and has been filled with so many great memories. I started this blog, finished my first year of medical school, traveled to 5 new countries, completed my first triathlon, stood next to my best friends as they got married, and so much more. It is impossible to predict what a new year will bring, no matter how much you think your life is planned out. I am excited for what this year holds!

One of my goals for the year is to keep my kitchen (and apartment) more organized. I am tired of reaching for the salt and knocking over 10 other spice bottles in the process, annoyed with all of the loose dry beans floating in my cabinet, and over the Tupperware tower that attacks me every time I make my lunch. I have spent the entire weekend (minus New Years celebrations, of course!) deep cleaning and re-organizing my apartment, and hope to keep it up as life gets busy and stressful again! One tip I have seen for pantry organization is to move bulk items into jars, tupperware, or other storage containers. Anything that comes in a plastic bag tends to be amorphous and hard to store neatly. I have moved all of my dry goods into glass jars that my roommate and I have been hoarding anytime we finish almond butter, salsa, pasta sauce, etc.

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My mom was a little fancier with her organization and bought a pack of large canning jars for her dry goods. She filled them, labeled them with cute paper, and then stuck a slip with the cooking instructions onto the lid. Her cabinets are beautiful, clean and organized now!

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Our newly organized dry beans will also help with a second challenge: going vegan! A friend and I, who are too competitive for our own good, got into a discussion about food and lifestyle choices. After a little while, he decided to experiment with being a vegan for a month, but only if I could convince my meat-loving father to do so. Oh how little he understands how much sway a daughter has on her father ;) My dad accepted the challenge, and so now my friend and my dad are competing to see if they can last the month as vegans! For solidarity, my mom and I have agreed to also participate in the challenge. We each are challenging ourselves for different reasons, and some are more excited, willing and ready than others. Regardless, it will definitely be an interesting month for all of us! I hope to have a few fun posts with some thoughts from my parents and friend about their success with the challenge, as well as share some recipes that I try out or create along the way!

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Question: Do you have any New Years Resolutions?

January 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm 5 comments

Home Improvements

Isn’t it nice that, no matter how old you get, your mom will always be your mom? She still spoils me with carloads of groceries despite my no longer being a starving college student. She still buys me pumpkins and decorations for my apartment despite seeing the house only once a year. She still cleans and re-organizes, all while she overflows with homemaking tips, despite the fact that I have moved far away from home. Thank goodness for visits from your mom to help get the apartment back in order!

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My mom and I had planned to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, but a pesky Noreaster got in our way. Boston was spared from the snow, but still got some crazy rain and wind, canceling the 5K. We made the best use of our indoor time, though! We rearranged the kitchen, finding homes for everything to keep us better organized. We cleaned and organized the whole apartment – kitchen, dining room, living room, front porch, both bedrooms… hardly a corner in the house was left unturned. We decorated, putting together a fun fall centerpiece with fresh flowers from Trader Joe’s, a small pumpkin from home, and a flameless candle. We also cooked and enjoyed great food throughout Boston, but that is a post for tomorrow! Some views of my newly organized kitchen…

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The cleanest our stove has been in a long time. Hopefully it will stay that way, thanks to the addition of a new spoon rest!

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Switching the side of dish rack made a huge difference in the amount of usable counter space!

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Fully stocked shelves with some goodies from Mom!

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View of the whole kitchen workspace. Proof that delicious meals can come from any kitchen, no matter how small, old, poorly lit, etc. Just learn to work with what you have!

The best home improvement we made this weekend: our windows! Our windows are old and rattley, and the draft can change the temperature of a room by more than 10 degrees depending in which corner you are standing! We went through and cleaned all of the sills, fixed the blinds, and then shrink wrapped them for winter. This stuff is seriously magic! The wrap is held up by double side tape, and then you use a blow dryer to literally shrink the plastic into place. Because it is so taut, it is barely visible that there is anything covering the windows! That is, until your hand is blocked from adjusting the blinds… I’d rather be stuck with one window covering position than deal with drafty windows and expensive heat bills all winter! Our final plan for warming up the apartment (besides continued soup making and bread baking, of course) is to make a draft stopper snake! I plan to take an old towel and stuff it, and may get creative enough to make it into a sock monkey or dog of some sort. Of course I will be back with photo updates if that crafty project does turn out!

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Question: What home improvements have you made lately?

November 1, 2011 at 7:05 am 6 comments


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