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Monday, August 30, 2010

Organizing the Car

I’m heading back to school/work so commuting is back on the table as an issue in my life.  I hate the car when its cluttery, messy, and yucky.  And I hate paying for car washes that never seem to last the day. 
So, I’m getting serious about this --- I’m attempting to organize the car.  I spend way too much time in the car to feel awful about that space.  I need to love my car and love being in it.  So, I’m determined --- the car will be an organized, pleasant, user-friendly space. 

First up --- a pretty trash bin.  Since I’ve gotten the new sewing maching and I’m trying all sorts of cute projects --- a new trash bin is on my list.  I can line it with old grocery store bags to make removing trash easier, but the bin itself WILL BE  pretty. 

Next:  a better phone charger.  I hate the one I have – sometimes it charges, sometimes it doesn’t and I never know which it will be until its too late.  All done with that problem.  New charger – that works.
File system:  I found this black (okay, not so cute) little file box that can sit in the front seat and keep papers, files, magazines, (the mail) and other stuff organized for me.  It has slots for scissors (I’m always hunting for scissors), pens and the like. 

Hanging organizer:  I’ve been looking at these but they’ve always seemed too “soccer mom-ish” for me.  They’re always shown in the pictures with kids books, games, and snacks in them. Not what I need.  But I’m re-thinking them.  I think that they could hold a lot of the cluttery stuff that accumulates in the car.  The maps that don’t fit in the glove compartment (yes, I still use maps), the dog bones, a travel pack of wipes (essential!), Kleenex (equally essential), an extra pair of gloves – could all go in the organizer hanging on the back of the passenger seat so that I can reach them. 

Last thing:  I need to come up with some sort of organizing bin for the cell phone and other gadgets.  They need to be right by the charger (naturally) but not falling into my way or in danger of having drinks spilled on them.  Any ideas?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pencil Pouch for a Notebook

I just got a new sewing machine, so I'm trying all sorts of little bitty projects to practice using all of the funky new things this machine will do.  (I'm still in a little bit of awe at the machine -- I moved up from a 50 year old Singer Featherweight

-- to a brand spanking new Janome ---

 Its a little like stepping into Star Trek)  Anyway ---- I fell in love (don't I always?) with this little pencil pouch
(how chic and rich is it to have your own customized pencil pouch at work or school instead of the silly Walmart or Target ones??)
Check out the beautiful tutorial here

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chores Charts for Kiddos

I love cute, clever ways of helping kids learn responsibility.  This cute --- super-cute--- set of chore charts really got my attention
You can find links here.  This lady has a ton of pdf files with printables to construct gorgeous charts like these.
Another one that I loved:
Go ahead --- go check it out.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Corn, Bean and Goat Cheese Quesadilla

Corn, Bean and Goat Cheese Quesadilla
·      Whole wheat tortilla (2 per quesadilla)
·      4-6 oz of goat cheese, crumbled
·      ¼ cup of corn kernels
·      1-2 strips of roasted red peppers cut into small pieces
·      ¼ cup of black beans
·      2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
·      fresh salsa and sour cream
Coat a large skillet with a very thin layer of olive oil and heat over medium heat. 
Place on tortilla in the pan.  Top with a layer of the crumbled goat cheese.  Layer corn, beans, red peppers and cilantro on top of the goat cheese.  Top with a second tortilla.  Cook about 2-3 minutes on medium low heat (be careful not to get the pan too hot- or you’ll fry the tortilla without melting the yummy goat cheese)
Serve with salsa and sour cream (and maybe some sangria!!)

Monday, August 16, 2010

New York Designer Fabric Outlet

I’m in love!! I found the most amazing fabric shop (and its not too, too far away.--- I might be in trouble here).  I’ve been missing the Schumacher outlet something terrible (its only been 5 years – I’m still grieving, you know).  I might have found its replacement!
New York Designer Fabric Outlet in Valatie NY is one amazing place.  Let me begin by saying that the name of the shop does not even begin to do it justice.  I probably passed it a dozen or more times and never even thought to stop.  It just didn’t interest me --- I had visions of something very – I don’t know --- New York.   This little outlet carries fabrics from around the world – the remnants of famous projects – from the White House to Paris – gorgeous fabric that graces some of the most elegant settings in the world. 
The best part?? The fabric sells for somewhere around 15-20% of the original cost.  Fabrics that originally sold for $350 a yard (gulp) can be found for $50, $35 and even $10 a yard. Those are my kind of prices.  And the fabric is beautiful … I can’t even describe them. They’re really amazing.
Find them right on Route 9 just above the Hannaford Plaza.  You won’t be sorry.  Really.  

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Gear: Organizing My Entryway

We’re half-way through the summer (okay, you don’t have to point it out – we’re MORE than half-way – but I don’t want to think about that yet).  The mess by the back door is beginning to get on my nerves.  We have a large collection of dog leashes, pooper bags, beach stuff, cooler stuff, sunglasses and more that seems to have accumulated there.  The organizing that I did to corral the winter gear is still in place --- but that’s the problem!  The winter gear is occupying all of the important real estate –  There’s no room for all of the summer gear.  Time to fix this before I lose my mind. 
I LOVE my antique ice-box by the back door – the inside of the ice-box holds (and hides!) all sorts of gear.  But right now the top is messy and stuff is piled on the counter, the table and the floor alongside it. 
Here’s what I’m thinking:
Ø  Magnetic hooks on the side of the ice box to increase the hanging space for leashes, keys, etc. 
Ø  A new wall rack/hook alongside it.  The old one only has 3 hooks – and although they’re large – they’re not cutting it.  It also has a shelf that we don’t’ really use – except to catch cluttery stuff that never seems to leave the shelf once it takes up residence there. 
Ø  A couple of small pretty baskets for the top of the ice box to corral the sunglasses etc…. similar to what I did for gloves etc in the winter –
Ø  A small bookshelf on the far side of the ice box – this could hold shoes, dog toys, cooler gear and the like without being obtrusive about it.  When the wetter weather comes, the shoe tray could sit right in front of the shelf. 
Ø  A tray (maybe a sorter?) for the top of the bookshelf for mail etc --- We have a bad habit of leaving it on the counter (what a mess!)   My previous plan had this on the top of the ice-box , but I’m really wanting that to look clean and tidy --- NO clutter --- not even the mail.