Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

The streets of Downtown Redmond are filled with flags today. Walking by is a great reminder to remember those who have made and make our freedom possible.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Favorites: Quilts and Glee

Here are a few of my favorite things this week.

Vintage Quilts

I have a special place in my heart for old fabric so I practically screamed when I saw this 1920's quilt at a garage sale. It may just be the beginning of a new collection. What do you enjoy collecting?


Photo Courtesy of Fox


Glee is totally off blog topic but none the less a favorite of mine! They wrapped up the 2nd season this week. I am not quite sure if my inner Gleek can wait until the Fall.

Do you have any favorites this week?

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Getting Started, Part 2

This is the second installment in the series Creative Chaos. If you missed the other posts they can be found here.

We covered the first two steps of the four that are found in Jeff Bredenberg's Book, How to Cheat at Organizing. Today I will cover the last two, Sort and Store.

These may be the toughest two steps. This process is kind of like losing weight. People usually think they can lose it with either working out or dieting, but you need both to be successful. If you just Strip and Scrap your place and think your done, guess again. Sorting and Storing are equally, if not more important.

Here is a quick review of the first two,

Strip, down to the essentials.
Scrap, what you don't need.

Now for the challenging part,

Sort- The things that you decide to keep should then be separated out into like categories.

For my craft room this will consist of things like all paints, paper, fabric, etc. There are a couple different ways to sort stuff out, especially in hobby rooms.

You can sort by,
Like Items (all "Mediums" in the same spot, ie. pens, paints, crayons,etc.)
Individual Hobbies (all Painting stuff together, ie. brushes, canvas, and paints)

We will go into greater detail about what system works best for different people but in the mean time it's a place to start.

Store- This is my favorite part! and probably the part that we all struggle with the most . Our things need homes. If they don't have them then guess what, everything will go back to the way it has always been. And no one wants that now do they?!

I love to hunt for little containers that are stylish but also serve a great purpose. I can't wait to share my favorite reuses with you, but I will leave you in suspense for now. Yes I am that mean.

Here is one pearl of wisdom to start you off though: contain everything, even the bigger things.

Happy Organizing!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Favorites: Taco Soup

From now on every Friday I will be sharing my Favorites of the week. I will be sharing recipes, blogs, shops, and things that I am just plain obsessed with currently.

I invite you to share your favorites as well. I always love discovering and sharing new things.

Here is one of my favorites right now!

Photo Courtesy of Chic Galleria

Taco Soup!
One of my good friends invited us over for dinner earlier this year and introduced me to the best and easiest taco soup recipe. From there I became obsessed to the point of typically making it once a week. Some where probably around the 7th or 8th week my husband kindly stated that he was growing a tad bit sick of his "liquid" diet. So the soup took a break. Until this week and man was it good. I have adapted this recipe to work in the slow cooker.

  • 2 15 oz cans of Beans (either pinto, black, kidney, or any other kind you like)
  • 1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chile's
  • 1 16 oz can of corn (sweet, white, or yellow, just not creamed)
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, whole and raw
  • 1 packet of Taco seasoning (if in bulk, 7-8 tbs)

  • 1-2 cups Water

  • 1 tsp Hot Sauce (optional)

Toppings Optional but highly suggested
  • cubed avocado
  • shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican)
  • crumbled queso fresco (Mexican cheese found in most grocery stores)
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • cilantro
    Dump all cans and ingredients into slow cooker, including the chicken breasts. Cook on low for 6-7 hours (this could take more or less time, it just depends on the slow cooker). Once the chicken breasts are cooked take two forks and shred them into the soup. This should not be hard to do because the chicken should be very tender and practically falling apart. let sit for about 1/2 hour more. Then your ready to dish up and top with whatever you decided.
    Dry bean can be used in place of canned. Here is a great blog series by Frugal Living NW on cooking with dried beans. I have also used frozen corn in place of canned. Just add 1/2 cup extra water to compensate for the juice.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Creative Chaos: Getting Started

The first box is open! and look I'm not scared... yet. Before I open another one and create a complete mess there needs to be some order to going about unpacking. My favorite system was found in a book written by Jeff Bredenberg, How to Cheat at Organizing. His method is called The S4 Technique.


Lets start with Strip and Scrap, here is my summarized synopsis of what he means.

Strip- Strip down your stuff to only the things that you,

A) Can't live without
B) Have used recently (meaning in the last 6 months to a year)
C) Actually remember you owned

Scrap- Scrap anything that doesn't fall into the above categories. These items either need to go into the trash or a box for thrift store donations.

This is the part that everyone (myself included) has problems with. It seems like the second those items go into the big black bag of death we all of a sudden develop the same emotional attachment we have to children. Seriously though, if you didn't know you had it then you will not miss it. If this is hard for you, then having someone stand by and watch you keep the stuff you don't need might be motivation enough to toss it.

Please tell me I am not alone in my "mild" hoarder like tendencies. How do you deal with pairing down? Is there another system you like? Do share!

Tomorrow, I will break down the next two steps, Sort and Store. To make sure you don't miss out subscribe via email.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Creative Chaos: let the project begin

Over the past month My husband and I made the first big move since we have been married. After one U-Haul, 4 or 5 full car trips, one emergency ("we have more stuff than can fit in the car") trip, and traveling 200+ miles every weekend for a month we are finally in one place.

The hardest part of moving has been all of my craft stuff; unpacking every other room seems petty in comparison. Once we were all moved in I stood staring at this...

(I was unable to capture a picture that could contain all of the stuff that is crammed into this tiny little room right now. If I had a panoramic camera that might begin to cover it...)

I could only think about one thing, how scared I was to go through and organize my own stuff when I had been doing the exact same thing for other people for years. This series will be all about organizing. It will include posts about small spaces, the needs of a creative space and much more.

I can't promise how often there will be posts, as I will most likely be hiding under my bed in terror of opening another box. Any words of encouragement and motivation are gladly appreciated.