Playing Catch Up…part one

or you could call it "Lyn wanted a day to just ramble"

You may recall that one of my goals for 2012 was to participate in the 52 Weeks To An Organized Home challenge. Well, I haven’t done any of them. Oops. But hey, between doing the Mustache Party  and my kitchen turning into a war zone, I haven’t really been able to do some of them. And some of the ones I could have done would have been undone when the kitchen stuff happened anyway! That’s my rationalization anyway.

Now that the kitchen is done with, I am trying to get back into the challenge (which when I think about it seems pointless because of some things that are coming down the line, but I’ll talk about those if/when they happen). So here’s what I’ve missed and my catching up to the current challenge:

WEEK 1: Kitchen Organization–countertops and sink

This entailed decluttering the counters so there will be workable space by putting things away in the cabinets or just getting rid of whatever stuff that I’m not going to ever use; and making sure the sink is clear of dishes every day. The challenge really said “twice a day” but I’m not home all day, so once in the evening is enough for me.

My kitchen counters "before".

The sink "before".

My kitchen counters and sink "after" pix. (Oh those bottles in the window are fly traps, btw. We've been having a bit of a fruit fly problem. :/ )

I didn't quite get to the stools under that counter. BUT in my defense, I did NOT just put what was up on the counter in the stools. They were already like that. >.>

WEEK 2: Kitchen Drawers & Cabinet Organization

Decluttering the cabinets that I just cluttered up by clearing off my counters (in my opinion this one should have been before the previous; but since I’m playing catch up, I get to do all these in the order I want–muhahahahaha). My dish cabinets are pretty ok. It’s the cabinet that I keep the food things in that is a nightmare. And my two kitchen drawers are also horrifying…or at least they were!

My kitchen cabinets "before".

My kitchen cabinets "after".

WEEK 3: Organize Pantry, Spices and Food Storage

Ok, I didn’t do this one and here’s why: I don’t have a pantry. When I did the “Week 2” challenge, I also did this one. In fact, you might have noticed some items in the “before” images that weren’t in the “after” ones; well, I did not just throw away those items. This post is pretty image heavy, and I decided to not post EVERY picture of my cabinets. So…moving on.

WEEK 4: Organizing Fridge and Freezer

This one called for taking everything out of both fridge and freezer; tossing what was gross; quickly scrubbing the inside of the fridge/freezer while everything was out of it; putting the good stuff back in but in a more organized manner. (There is some Food Waste Friday material from this challenge that you will see later). I actually didn’t do this task. I woke up Sunday morning to TGF doing it for me. He even took pics!

The fridge and freezer "before".

The freezer "after."

The fridge "after". It's so sad and empty. 😦

WEEK 5: Organize Recipes and Cookbooks

Love this one. So easy and simple…sort of. The cook books part was easy. I saw a photo somewhere on the internet of someone with all her cookbooks on top of her fridge and I was all “GENIUS!” So, that’s what I did with my few cookbooks. The recipes though, that’s a project for another day really. Mainly because I cannot find my recipe box. >.>

The binders hold recipes, too.

WEEK 6: Create A Home Recycling Center

This one I feel like I could just go “check!” The recycling in my city doesn’t have us sort our own recycling. All paper, plastic and metal (no glass) go in the same bin. So I have a laundry basket set up by the front door that I put it all in and when it gets full I take it out to the bin.

WEEK 7: Coupons

Organizing my coupons! That I actually do cut out from the paper (or print from the internet)! And then never use!

WEEK 8: Meal Planning/Grocery Shopping

This one is all about deciding how often to meal plan, actually doing it and creating a grocery list from it. A while back, I created a binder that has tips on freezing foods, pantry staples to have on hand, and blank meal planning sheets. So I broke that out, sat down with TGF and made a meal plan for the following week (a few week backs, I should add–as you can see from the date in the photo). Then we made a grocery list and went to the store. I think this will become a weekly activity for us (the meal planning, we already grocery shop weekly).

WEEK 9: Addresses/Contact Information

I’m glad this task is on the list, because it is definitely something I need to do. I have to text my mom for addresses all the time. With that said, I’m still slowly finding all the addresses I want to have at hand, so this one is a work in progress.

WEEK 10: Create A Home Mail Organizing Center

I had a desk caddy thingie already that I used to hold junk. I just cleared off a spot on my counter and started using it for mail. I don’t get a lot of mail, and what I do get is mostly junk; but what I do get, it would be nice to not have it just tossed on the counter or in the wicker catch-all basket. Plus, it has a spot that I can put my keys in too.

I am in no way caught up yet, but it is a start. Next week, I’ll hopefully be caught up even more and will share more progress with you.

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Read any good books lately? Part 1

rawr

I haven’t been reading books lately. Having TGF around has kept me occupied, and I feel rude reading if he isn’t reading too (which happens sometimes, but not often). However, Reading Is Sexy is the one section of this blog that actually has any semblance of regularity in its updates. So, in order to keep it going despite my lack of literary motivation, I’m asking you, my dear readers, to pick what I should read.

This week I’m asking you to pick a book from the ones that have been sitting at my desk at work for a very long time (I got all of them out of the “crap box” at work). So VOTE! And keep Reading Is Sexy alive!

Beignets

open package; put in microwave; heat; eat

Ever since The Gentleman Friend gave me the fryer for my birthday, he’s been wanting to make beignets. Well, we finally did it. They are ridiculously easy to make. Well, if you made them from scratch they might now be as easy, but luckily we live in New Orleans, so we have access to Café du Monde Beignet Mix in every grocery store.

Measure out your beignet mix (this required some math for us as we did not want to make 2 dozen beignets...well I didn't want to make that many, TGF did). Then, measure and add your water to the mix.

Mix till you get your dough ball.

Roll the dough till 1/4" thick (I got to use my rolling pad and pin for the first time!)

Cut into squares.

Fry!

After you drain them, sprinkle with powder sugar while they are still hot and enjoy!

Somebody’s Getting Married

or you could call it "Lyn wanted a day to just ramble"

This past weekend, I went dress shopping with my best friend, Annie, to help her pick out her wedding dress. Our friends Maile and Krystal (Annie’s sister in law) and Annie’s mother were all in on the fun. Maile made the appointments, but the first stop was really all we needed.

Photos provided by Krystal Ladner.

We went to a place called The Timeless Bride that specializes in vintage gowns and recreating them to look how you want them to look. Pretty amazing really. It was fun.

It was a day of wedding shopping and fun. We just have to find her some shoes and the bridesmaid dresses now. We’ll be having a shopping day in my city next, so that should be fun.

It’s fun to be a part of the union of two people who love each other like Annie and her fiance  love each other. I’m sure I’ll be posting more about her upcoming nuptials, especially since I’m doing the lingerie/bachelorette party.

Poll Dancer

or "cursing while using glitter"

Like the pun up there? Yeah you do.

In the To-Do Jar The Gentleman Friend and I created, there are a number of craft projects that we picked to do together. When we pull those for the day’s activity, I plan to document them to post here; however, just in case we don’t get to them in a while or if there comes a time with a long lull in between crafts (we have painting, drawing, business, and computer activities in the jar too) I want to have something to post here.

So, I decided to try out WordPress’ PollDaddy feature. I made this poll with three choices of craft projects for me to attempt. All three are ones I want to do but TGF isn’t exactly jumping at the chance to create. So VOTE! And someday you may see me do one of these lovely crafts!

The Best Dish We’ve Ever Made

open package; put in microwave; heat; eat

We went to my food Pinterest board, (which has become our go-to cookbook, no joke), and decided this recipe for Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake from Saving Money Living Life would be good to make.

You guys. This is the best thing I’ve ever cooked, and TGF agrees that of all the things we’ve made together, this is the best. Here are some pics from the process, but you can click on the link above for the full recipe. And trust me, unless you have dietary restrictions, you want to make this recipe. You will be so grateful you did with that first bite.

Mixing things up.

The final, delicious product.