{Frugally} Fighting FRUMP: Diet & Nutrition Week #4: {Non-obsessive} Portion Contol

Portion Control

My PERSONAL CHALLENGE for 2013??  Fighting Frump – on a  limited budget, of course!  You can read more about why HERE.

JANUARY – Diet & Nutrition

Week #4 – “{Non-obsessive} Portion Control”

(or “My HEALTHY Love Affair with Food”)

So, this week’s goal – research additional ways to control my portions WITHOUT being obsessive:)  I’ve done the calorie-counting gig – and its great for a time – but for me its not sustainable.  So, I’m attempting to “re-progam” my relationship with food so that I can a) enjoy the foods my family eats {without guilt} and b) maintain a healthy weight.  The only healthy option – portion control!  Of course exercise and physical activities are a must – just not the focus for January:)

A quick update on Week #3 – Healthy Snacking: I found a lot of fun, practical, inexpensive, AND  healthy snack ideas and I’ve got a post planned for later this week that I can’t wait to share.  I personally feel like snacking helps me reduce overall intake because I’m not so ravenously hungry at meals!

{EASY & NON-OBSESSIVE}

Portion Control Strategies, Tips, & Tricks

INSTALLMENT #1

These are the tips and tricks that allow me to eat what I like – just in reasonable size portions.  With my body type and activity levels I find I can eat almost anything in controlled quantities and maintain a healthy weight.  I know this doesn’t work for everyone – but the portion control tips are still applicable.  You’ll just need to adjust the foods to what works  for you.

  1. DRINK WATER BEFORE YOUR MEALS – Ok, not really my strong suit.  I just don’t love the taste of water BUT I do this to a) get the hydration my body needs and b) because I find I eat less if I do.  The water fills your thirst which most of us can sometimes mistake for hunger or compensate for with additional food.
  2. EAT REGULARLY – For myself this means eating three meals a day and two snacks (between breakfast/lunch and lunch/dinner).  Some things I’ve seen suggest eating every 3-4 hours.  For me the time between is less – but I’m on my kids schedule for the most part:)
  3. LEARN WHAT MEASUREMENTS OF FOOD LOOK LIKE – I learned a great deal in my calorie-counting experience last year.  Can you accurately eyeball what a cup of cereal looks like?  How about a 1/4 cup of nuts?  Until you have a grasp on what these measurements look like try actually measuring them.  You’ll then get used to how much it is so it will come naturally to self-ration later.
  4. INVEST IN A KITCHEN SCALE – Remember, I’m all about NOT being obsessive…but there are some high fat, high calorie foods that I LOVE that can be huge barriers to my healthy living goals if I don’t portion correctly.  A kitchen scale lets you weigh any of your problem foods.  Eventually you can stop using it – as long as you are diligent.  I still use mine to weigh chips.  I LOVE chips and this is a simple way for me to know that I’m eating a reasonable amount.  Added time?  MAYBE 30 seconds (on the very high end).
  5. PRE-PACK SNACKS – A no-brainer for when you’re out and about but I’ve taken to portioning my staple snacks into small containers that I can just grab at snack time here at home.  For me I’m often prepping the kids stuff at the same time and its really easy to grab more then is appropriate.  If its already portioned I can just grab and eat:)  My current staples:  1/4 C almonds, 1/4 C cranberries, or 7 generic Triscuits.
  6. STORE LEFT-OVERS IN INDIVIDUAL SERVINGS – By lunch time I’m HUNGRY.  When left-overs are stored in one big portion (ex. Lasagna) I inevitably serve myself more then I need.  By storing left-overs in appropriate servings when I’m full after dinner I lessen the burden on my hungry self to make good choices at lunch!
  7. STORE MEASURING TOOLS WITH THE FOOD – We eat a ton of cranberries (a TON!!).  I’ve started storing a 1/4 cup measuring cup right in the package.  This keeps me from grabbing handfuls…a) more hygenic and b) better size servings.  I do this with our cereal also.
  8. SERVE FOODS WITH MEASURING CUPS – You have to dirty something to serve your food anyway, why not use a measuring cup?  I often do this with stews, soups, and pastas – which leads to:
  9. 1 CUP SERVINGS OF PASTA – We all know too much carbs are not so good.   BUT, this girl loves some pasta – marinara, cream, cheese sauce? – doesn’t matter, I love, love, love them all.  I don’t worry to much about the sauce type – I figure it all works out over time.  As a rule though, 1 cup of pasta is an appropriate portion for me and I’d think most women.  This is what I serve myself at dinner and package as left-overs for lunches.
  10. SAVOR YOUR FOODS – Goes without saying, right?  But how often do you eat without thinking about it OR enjoying it?  If you’re going to eat it, enjoy it.  PERIOD.  Otherwise wait until you can eat something you’ll enjoy.  Remember too that if something you eat causes you to feel guilty later then your NOT really enjoying it.
  11. CHEW GUM/BRUSH YOUR TEETH – Had enough?  Stop yourself from picking during clean-up by chewing gum or brushing your teeth.  I’ve been using this trick during meal prep and clean-up  – where I usually was eating without even thinking – and it works.  At at restaurant or meeting where gum would be inappropriate?  Use a mint.
  12. LIMIT YOURSELF TO ONE OF EACH BATCH OF DESSERT – Made brownies for your family?  Have ONE OR TWO – not half the pan.  We make a fun dessert each Friday during daycare.  I try to limit my consumption to one or two.  The rest the kiddos can eat OR can be frozen for another time.  We also like to share the dessert love with my daycare clients and next-door-neighbors (i.e. Grandma & Grandpa:)
  13. SPREAD LIGHTLY – I LOVE peanut butter, mayo, butter, Nutella, jelly…you get the picture.  I’ve learned that I enjoy the toast or sandwich just as much with a light spread of the desired ingredient.  Not to little or you don’t taste it but not too much either.  Most spreads are high calorie, high fat so any reduction helps!

I hope you’ve gotten at least a couple of ideas on what you can do to better control your portions.  I’ll be back tomorrow with some additional tips – including some attitude shifts that I have found really helpful.  I’ll also post my Food Journal – I did GREAT last week!!

Any tips and tricks that you use?  I’d love to expand my arsenal of portion control ideas!

Thanks for taking a look!

Blue Skies & Blessings,

Lindsey

I anticipate linking this challenge up to some (or all:) of these LINK PARTIES – if I get up the nerve:

I {heart} Nap TimeImpatiently CraftyUnder the Table & DreamingI should be mopping the floorMaking the World CuterThe Trendy TreehouseSewing BarefootReasons to Skip the Housework Sun Scholars, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, Krafty Kat, Ginger Snap Crafts, Sugar & Dots, The Thrifty Home, Lil’ Luna, Th 36th Avenue, My Repurposed Life, A Creative Princess, Beyond the Picket FenceBe Different, Act Normal,  Classy Clutter, Flamingo Toes, Tater Tots & JelloToo Much Time on My Hands, Craft Envy, Blissful & Domestic, Cheerios & Lattes, Fine Craft Guild, The Dedicated House, C.R.A.F.T, Today’s Creative Blog, WTFab, Brassy Apple, DIY Home Sweet Home, Pin It Wednesday, Navy Wivey Peters, Fall into the Holidays (Horrific Knits), The Gingerbread Blog, One Creative Mommy, A Lived in Home, Sugar Bee Crafts, Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk, Gingerly Made, Diane Rambles, Western Warmth, Serenity You, Homemade Ginger, Project Inspire, Skip to My Lou, Keeping it Simple, Sew Much Ado, Easy Living Mom, Fluster Buster

 
 
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Chocolate Milk for the Frugal Mama

My kids LOVE chocolate milk but for our family this is a rare treat.  I HATE buying it because a) the small quantities are really overpriced and b) the larger quantities are more then we need to have around the house.  If its there, they want it (i.e. beg for it!)

I don’t know why I never thought of this solution before. Maybe I’m the only one that was still mixing small little individual cups.  But, I figured I’d share just in case one other frugal mama could have a “Duh, why haven’t I been doing this all along!” sort-of moment:)

I considered titling the post “A Frugal AND LAZY Mama’s Chocolate Milk” but really its not laziness but rather efficiency…or at least that’s what I choose to believe!

A Frugal Mama's Chocolate Milk

Any extras can be stored right in the jar in the fridge.  The syrup will settle but you just need to shake before the next serving.

Added bonus?  My kids are satisfied with a “mild” chocolate milk  (i.e. not much syrup) which means less sugar with the same “Mom, you’re the best for giving us this delicious treat” effect!!

Thanks for taking a look!

Blue Skies & Blessings, Lindsey

This project will be linked up to some (or all:) of these LINK PARTIES:

I {heart} Nap TimeImpatiently CraftyUnder the Table & DreamingI should be mopping the floorMaking the World CuterThe Trendy TreehouseSewing BarefootReasons to Skip the Housework Sun Scholars, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, Krafty Kat, Ginger Snap Crafts, Sugar & Dots, The Thrifty Home, Lil’ Luna, Th 36th Avenue, My Repurposed Life, A Creative Princess, Beyond the Picket FenceBe Different, Act Normal,  Classy Clutter, Flamingo Toes, Tater Tots & JelloToo Much Time on My Hands, Craft Envy, Blissful & Domestic, Cheerios & Lattes, Fine Craft Guild, The Dedicated House, C.R.A.F.T, Today’s Creative Blog, WTFab, Brassy Apple, DIY Home Sweet Home, Pin It Wednesday, Navy Wivey Peters, Fall into the Holidays (Horrific Knits), The Gingerbread Blog, One Creative Mommy, A Lived in Home, Sugar Bee Crafts, Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk, Gingerly Made, Diane Rambles, Western Warmth, Serenity You, Homemade Ginger, Project Inspire, Skip to My Lou, Keeping it Simple, Sew Much Ado, Easy Living Mom, Fluster Buster

{Frugally} Fighting FRUMP: Diet & Nutrition Week #3: Healthy Snacking

Fighting Frump #3

My PERSONAL CHALLENGE for 2013??  Fighting Frump – on a  limited budget, of course!  You can read more about why HERE.

JANUARY – Diet & Nutrition

Week #3 – “Healthy Snacking”

(or “Snacks – Not Just for the Kiddos!”)

So, this weeks goal – figure out healthy snacks that work for me!

Some random thoughts about snacking:

  • Any snacks I have need to be something I enjoy.  Life is too short to eat stuff I don’t like!  Turkey lettuce roll-up might be a healthy choice – and something I’d choose for a meal – but it does not appeal to me as a quick bite:)
  • Snacks should be relatively small.  In my teens and twenties I could snack something fierce without putting on weight.   Not so much now!  So, any snack for me needs to be in that 100-150 calorie range.
  • Mindful snacking between breakfast/lunch and lunch/dinner helps me make better food choices at the next meal.  If I am overly hungry I have a tendency to DEVOUR my meals.  A small snack between allows me to approach my meals with less gusto (i.e. less pigging out:)
  • I’m not overly concerned with fat content.  I’ve found in the past that for me its all about quantity/calories and not as much fat-content.   So, we don’t buy light anything…I just use less of the high fat stuff.
  • Any snack has to be easy to prepare.  While I’d love smoothies and such my daycare days don’t allow me the time to make anything elaborate.  I could of course make them at other times BUT I’m trying to avoid working all day and then spending all night prepping for the next day:)

Some frugal snacking prerequisites:

  • No 100-calorie snack packs…they are too expensive, waste packaging, etc.
  • Any snack food needs to be something I can buy in bulk OR on sale.  Our food budget is pretty tight so buying snacks is second priority.  Buying in bulk or on sale helps lessen this burden.
  • The quantity has to be decent.  I am SO not the type that’s satisfied with one of anything little:)  So, any snack that fits into my rotation needs to allow more then two or three bites.  (I saw one list of snack recommendations that said something like one cracker with jelly.  COME ON – who is satisfied with a snack that consists of ONE cracker?  Maybe I should be, but its just not going to happen!)

Some of my current go-to options:

  • Almonds – 1/4 cup
  • Carrots & Celery sticks – with some salt (LOVE)
  • Generic Triscuits – I really like the Target brand.
  • Dried cranberries – 1/4 cup
  • Yogurt – 6-8 ounces

Second, an update on Week #2 – Vitamins & Supplement:

After some research I opted to proceed with what was outlined in this Woman’s Day article.  It mirrored what I read on other websites AND wasn’t over-the-top in quantity.  A must for this frugal mama!

So, moving forward I’ll take the following daily:

I already had the Prenatal and Vitamin C.  I purchased the Fish Oil and Calcium (with Vitamin D) at Sam’s Club for about $20.  Both will last for an entire year.  Not a bad investment I’d say!!

The only problem?  Opening all those containers each day is a hassle.  So – feeding my current bin obsession – I bought a pill storage option at Target:)

Pill Storage Solution

I also moved my vitamins to the same storage area as my kids vitamins/medicine.  This helped me remember to take them – although other issues caused us to forget everyone’s stuff twice this week!  Still a work in progress for sure:)

What about Week #1 – “Reduce Consumption”?

On okay week – but definitely could have been better about Portion Sizes, as my Food Journal – Week #2 shows:

Accountability? Kind-of embarrassing BUT also motivating. Just think what I’d have eaten if I hadn’t planned to post:)

I’m starting to  recognize the situations where I tend to overeat – i.e. when I’m stressed or when I’m celebrating.  We had both this week which led to poor food choices a couple days.  But, onward in this journey!  Half the battle, in my opinion, is recognizing your areas of weakness so you can handle them better in the future.

As far as the other items (i.e. LIMIT evening snacks/NO pop, MORE water/STOP feeling “first world” guilt over our food waste/  STOP nibbling)??  I ROCKED them (for the most part.)  A little immodest, but I’m proud of myself – especially about the pop drinking (or lack thereof!!)

I’ll continue to post about other things this week but will be back next weekend for an update on the {Frugally} Fighting Frump Challenge.  I’ll let you know how I did this week AND talk about next week’s “Diet & Nutrition” focus area – “Portion Control – Some Tips & Tricks.”  While I didn’t always do well this week I do have some fun ideas to share.

Thanks for taking a look!

Blue Skies & Blessings,

Lindsey

I anticipate linking this challenge up to some (or all:) of these LINK PARTIES – if I get up the nerve:

I {heart} Nap TimeImpatiently CraftyUnder the Table & DreamingI should be mopping the floorMaking the World CuterThe Trendy TreehouseSewing BarefootReasons to Skip the Housework Sun Scholars, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, Krafty Kat, Ginger Snap Crafts, Sugar & Dots, The Thrifty Home, Lil’ Luna, Th 36th Avenue, My Repurposed Life, A Creative Princess, Beyond the Picket FenceBe Different, Act Normal,  Classy Clutter, Flamingo Toes, Tater Tots & JelloToo Much Time on My Hands, Craft Envy, Blissful & Domestic, Cheerios & Lattes, Fine Craft Guild, The Dedicated House, C.R.A.F.T, Today’s Creative Blog, WTFab, Brassy Apple, DIY Home Sweet Home, Pin It Wednesday, Navy Wivey Peters, Fall into the Holidays (Horrific Knits), The Gingerbread Blog, One Creative Mommy, A Lived in Home, Sugar Bee Crafts, Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk, Gingerly Made, Diane Rambles, Western Warmth, Serenity You, Homemade Ginger, Project Inspire, Skip to My Lou, Keeping it Simple, Sew Much Ado, Easy Living Mom, Fluster Buster

 
 

“Love Bug” Sugar Cookies

Love Bug Sugar Cookies Once upon a time (like in September:) this crazy daycare lady thought I’d just free-hand cut some honey-bee and butterfly sugar cookies during “B” is for Bugs & Butterflies week at daycare.

Unfortunately this didn’t really work out.  While my attempts looked decent they took WAY too long with my four young charges at foot, especially with Lil’ Lady teething (i.e. NOT so happy:)

Scrambling, I decided to peruse my cookie cutter collection…hoping that some miscellaneous cutter could be manipulated to allow “quick” post-snack, pre-lunch cookie cutting  of the (sort-of) bug-like variety.

And then I spotted it…a HEART.  A touch of quick-thinking (and a whole lot of desperation) later and I had it: “LOVE BUGS.”

The girlies were very excited with the new direction (and LOVED using cookie cutters).

My Love Bugs

You should have seen MY outfit:)

I used Betty Crocker’s Sugar Cookie recipe as well as their Powdered Sugar Icing.  Why mess with a classic, right?  For the black detailing I mixed the icing much thicker then the recipe dictates and just used Ziploc bags with the tips cut off to decorate.

All-in-all I’d say they turned out super cute and would definitely be adorable for Valentines Day, don’t you?

Thanks for taking a look!

Blue Skies & Blessings, Lindsey

This project will be linked up to some (or all:) of these LINK PARTIES:

I {heart} Nap TimeImpatiently CraftyUnder the Table & DreamingI should be mopping the floorMaking the World CuterThe Trendy TreehouseSewing BarefootReasons to Skip the Housework Sun Scholars, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, Krafty Kat, Ginger Snap Crafts, Sugar & Dots, The Thrifty Home, Lil’ Luna, Th 36th Avenue, My Repurposed Life, A Creative Princess, Beyond the Picket FenceBe Different, Act Normal,  Classy Clutter, Flamingo Toes, Tater Tots & JelloToo Much Time on My Hands, Craft Envy, Blissful & Domestic, Cheerios & Lattes, Fine Craft Guild, The Dedicated House, C.R.A.F.T, Today’s Creative Blog, WTFab, Brassy Apple, DIY Home Sweet Home, Pin It Wednesday, Navy Wivey Peters, Fall into the Holidays (Horrific Knits), The Gingerbread Blog, One Creative Mommy, A Lived in Home, Sugar Bee Crafts, Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk, Gingerly Made, Diane Rambles, Western Warmth, Serenity You, Homemade Ginger, Project Inspire, Skip to My Lou, Keeping it Simple, Sew Much Ado, Easy Living Mom, Fluster Buster

{Frugally} Fighting FRUMP: Diet & Nutrition Week #2: Vitamins & Supplements

Fighting Frump Week 2

My PERSONAL CHALLENGE for 2013??  Fighting Frump – on a  limited budget, of course!  You can read more about why HERE.

JANUARY – Diet & Nutrition

Week #2 – “Vitamins & Supplements”

(or “My Adventures in Pill Popping”)

First, an update on Week #1 – “Reduce Consumption”

Great start to this little project of mine!  The feedback from everyone has been spectacular and VERY motivating.

A couple things I should have mentioned last week:

  • I am NOT INTERESTED in dieting in the sense of changing my families meals, eating all light/no-fat foods, etc.  I won’t be buying non-fat anything nor will I be drastically changing our family meals.  I personally believe you can eat anything and maintain a proper weight as long as you eat it in moderation and appropriate portions.
  • I will be weighing myself ONLY ONCE A WEEK.  Any more and I get obsessive about it – NOT the point!
  • My GAUGE OF SUCCESS is a pair of Old Navy trouser jeans I bought last summer.  I LOVE the way they look – they’re my date night jeans.   But the current fit doesn’t really scream “dressing up for my man”:)  I will try these on each week at my “weigh in”.
  • I’ve not forgotten about EXERCISE.  I’m working on getting into a routine and will discuss more in future posts…but baby steps for now!

My REDUCE CONSUMPTION hit-list:

  • LIMIT Evening Snacks:  Did well on this one, although no crocheting so far during TV time (just laundry folding – still keeping my hands busy though:)
  • NO pop, MORE water:  No pop so far!  I still struggle to drink water consistently.  I’m trying to drink water with each meal or snack to get me to my goal.  I have been having raspberry Klarbrunn occasionally – this girl likes her carbonation!
  • Food Journal:  I’m reading Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.  She talks about accountability in the process of getting fit.  Since I don’t have any desire to chat about my food intake with a close friend on a daily basis, I’ve decided to use this blog as my form of accountability.  I’ll post my food journal each week starting next week.  Not really expecting anyone to read it but it will be there which means it will be motivating for me (who wants her readers to see “4 servings of Fruit Loops”?  Not this girl:)  My planner got way too messy with my food journaling – and I’m kind-of obsessed with creating printables – so I made my own.  You can take a look (Food Journal – If I Had a Million Hours…) – if you could make use of it please feel free to print or save!
  • STOP feeling “first world” guilt over our food waste:  A struggle…I haven’t eaten off my kids plates and have been giving them less.  But with kids I never know how much they’ll eat so food does get wasted – just not in the form of wasted calories for me.
  • STOP nibbling:  The gum trick worked.  The only time I caught myself nibbling – without even thinking about it?!? – was when I didn’t have gum in.
  • Portion CONTROL:  Pretty good at this so far.  Another thing I need to measure though – chips!  We don’t eat them all that often but when we do I can easily eat WAY MORE then is appropriate.

Week #2 – “Vitamins & Supplements”

I am not a good vitamin taker, nor do I take any supplements.  Before and during pregnancies I was awesome about taking my pre-natal vitamins.  But since finishing nursing Little Man I’ve kind of fallen off the vitamin wagon.  Since we haven’t completely ruled out a #4 I’ve decided I need to be consistent in taking a pre-natal vitamin.  Folic Acid is such an easy thing to do for our babies!!  What better way to remind me to take them then moving them into the same spot as my kids vitamins and medicine.  Because like many mamas I’m sure, I ALWAYS remember their stuff…its just my own stuff that gets forgotten.

I do think there could be value in adding vitamins and/or supplements to my diet.  Especially since I KNOW I don’t always eat as well-rounded diet as I should.  The only thing stopping me?  I don’t really know what I should be taking.

So, my Vitamins & Supplements ACTION PLAN for the week:

  • STORE my vitamins with the kids vitamins – and TAKE THEM at the same time as they do (or I’ll forget to do it later:)
  • RESEARCH vitamins and/or supplements appropriate for my age, gender, diet, activity level, etc.
  • PURCHASE any vitamins I decide to incorporate into my healthy living plan.

So, what about you – any vitamins or supplements you swear by?  If so, why?

How about resources – any books, websites, etc. that you would recommend I checkout?  I almost impulse bought a book at Shopko the other night but at $15 – with no time to peruse with the girlies in tow – this didn’t seem like the frugal option.

I’ll continue to post about other things this week but will be back next weekend for an update on the {Frugally} Fighting Frump Challenge.  I’ll let you know how I did this week AND talk about next week’s “Diet & Nutrition” focus area – “Healthy Snacking.”

Thanks for taking a look!

Blue Skies & Blessings,

Lindsey

I anticipate linking this challenge up to some (or all:) of these LINK PARTIES – if I get up the nerve:

I {heart} Nap TimeImpatiently CraftyUnder the Table & DreamingI should be mopping the floorMaking the World CuterThe Trendy TreehouseSewing BarefootReasons to Skip the Housework Sun Scholars, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, Krafty Kat, Ginger Snap Crafts, Sugar & Dots, The Thrifty Home, Lil’ Luna, Th 36th Avenue, My Repurposed Life, A Creative Princess, Beyond the Picket FenceBe Different, Act Normal,  Classy Clutter, Flamingo Toes, Tater Tots & JelloToo Much Time on My Hands, Craft Envy, Blissful & Domestic, Cheerios & Lattes, Fine Craft Guild, The Dedicated House, C.R.A.F.T, Today’s Creative Blog, WTFab, Brassy Apple, DIY Home Sweet Home, Pin It Wednesday, Navy Wivey Peters, Fall into the Holidays (Horrific Knits), The Gingerbread Blog, One Creative Mommy, A Lived in Home, Sugar Bee Crafts, Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk, Gingerly Made, Diane Rambles, Western Warmth, Serenity You, Homemade Ginger, Project Inspire, Skip to My Lou, Keeping it Simple, Sew Much Ado, Easy Living Mom, Fluster Buster

 
 

Storing & Organizing Spices: Tips & Tricks (On the cheap!!)

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA As I mentioned when I showed you my Lazy Susan re-org, I have been an organizing machine lately.

Another area of frustration on my end?  Our spice/baking/misc. cupboard!

We’ve tried a number of spice container storage solutions – stacking shelves, turn-table, etc.  The problem with all of them was that we are SO NOT THE TYPE to line up our spices neatly with the labels facing out.  We’re more of the toss-and-go sort of cooks:)

My solution?  But them in bins, of course!  My husband thinks I’m bin obsessed…and I’m starting to agree:)

So, here was the before:

Spice Cab BEFORE

I LOVE these cupboards because of the added fold-out storage space but with stuff everywhere, things piled in – YUCK!  Plus, I was always moving stuff around so D could NEVER find anything.  Pretty frustrating for a man who enjoys cooking.

The new-and-improved version:  (actually a different cupboard but same layout:)

Spice Cabinet AFTER

We buy some basic spices in larger containers at Sam’s Club.  These are in the white-lidded jars in front.  For the other spices I’ve put them in bins.  I added the labels on top to make grabbing them easy and quick.  Might seem like overkill, but it takes all of 30 seconds to add the label and makes it so much more enjoyable to use.  I had them without for a while and pulling out every single container looking for XYZ spice (which of course is ALWAYS the last one, right??) was extremely tedious.

I also added bins for what I called “Seasoning Liquids” – i.e. honey, liquid smoke, Tabasco, agave, etc. – and “Baking Condiments” – i.e. baking chips, marshmallows, etc.  Not quite sure if the labels are accurate descriptions but I know what they mean and D says he could figure it out so I’m calling it good:)  Like with the labels in the Lazy Susan re-org these labels were made using leftover scrapbook paper, my printer, and my laminator.  

Tips & Tricks:

  1. Use bins – it keeps all the spices together AND you can just toss them in.  No fastidious placement required.
  2. Label the top of the spice containers.  Saves time (and sanity:)  If you don’t have a label-maker, use small pieces of masking tape and hand-write the spice names.
  3. Separate large and small spice containers.  Assuming you have plenty of spices in your cabinet this is an easy way to divide them up.
  4. Use consistent containers for any spices you buy in bulk.  They look nicer and are easier to organize.
  5. Label your bins – it saves time when cooking.

These cupboards are so nice to open know…everything has a place.  An added bonus?  We aren’t buying duplicates because we think we’re out of something and then find it stashed somewhere else later on.

Any creative ways you store your spices and seasonings?  I always love hearing what works for others!

Blue Skies and Blessings,

Lindsey

This project will be linked up to some (or all:) of these LINK PARTIES:

I {heart} Nap TimeImpatiently CraftyUnder the Table & DreamingI should be mopping the floorMaking the World CuterThe Trendy TreehouseSewing BarefootReasons to Skip the Housework Sun Scholars, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, Krafty Kat, Ginger Snap Crafts, Sugar & Dots, The Thrifty Home, Lil’ Luna, Th 36th Avenue, My Repurposed Life, A Creative Princess, Beyond the Picket FenceBe Different, Act Normal,  Classy Clutter, Flamingo Toes, Tater Tots & JelloToo Much Time on My Hands, Craft Envy, Blissful & Domestic, Cheerios & Lattes, Fine Craft Guild, The Dedicated House, C.R.A.F.T, Today’s Creative Blog, WTFab, Brassy Apple, DIY Home Sweet Home, Pin It Wednesday, Navy Wivey Peters, Fall into the Holidays (Horrific Knits), The Gingerbread Blog, One Creative Mommy, A Lived in Home, Sugar Bee Crafts, Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk, Gingerly Made, Diane Rambles, Western Warmth, Serenity You, Homemade Ginger, Project Inspire, Skip to My Lou, Keeping it Simple, Sew Much Ado, Easy Living Mom, Fluster Buster

Classic Pinwheel Cookies

Pinwheel Cookie Cover

These cookies are one of D’s favorites!  The recipe came from his mom – I don’t know where she got it.  I do know she’s made them for at least a couple decades.

These cookies embody something I LOVE about my mother-in-law.  She can take very little and turn it into something just delightful.  Like these cookies – just a few simple ingredients to make these delicious little treats!

Added bonus?  I almost always have the ingredients on hand.

D’s mom is an artist so her versions are always perfect.  I am not as fastidious about the layer thickness or rolling so mine tend to be less “perfect.”  Either way they are SOO good.  They also are a perfect cookie because even when slightly over-done they are GREAT.

Just a quick note, these aren’t overly sweet cookies.  We think that’s part of their appeal…

Classic Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

Want the recipe?  Feel free to left click and then print the recipe above OR “Pin It” for future use!

The last time we made them it was for “E” is for Emotions week at daycare.  We use some of the doughs to make these cute “emotional” cookies:)

Emotional Cookies

As always, please let me know if you try these.  Feedback always appreciated.

Blue Skies & Blessings,

Lindsey

This recipe will be linked up to some (or all:) of these LINK PARTIES:

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