Tackling the Kitchen

June 2nd, 2019 klwade Posted in Declutter Project | No Comments »

On my last post I stated that I plan on decluttering my home and stop having so much stuff.

I decided my kitchen really needed to be first.

I had already finished my corner under cabinet area and the lazy susan upper cabinet so there are no pictures of the before so the after was kinda useless. But it pretty much looked like my spice cabinet below.

Before picture of spice cabinet

This cabinet had spices and condiments that were as old as 2005. Some were more recent but looked unpleasant. I understand spices only last 1-4 years. So unless something was dated 2018 or later, it was tossed.

Before spice cabinet

I think I had that stash tea when I moved in here….pretty much 13 years ago

I am not sure when tea is no longer good, but you know what, I do not care… say goodbye.

Those Kirkland spices were bought when I was a member of Costco. And I have not been a member for YEARS…. say goodbye

Some I did not recognize at all

Spice Cabinet left

I know the Au Jus Gravy is new

Sprinkles….sprinkles…sprinkles….. I decided that I would hesitate to use any of them on cookies so I thanked them for their beauty in the world and tossed them. Say Goodbye

I know honey does not expire but I think those honey sticks looked kinda gross…. say goodbye

There was some canning wax….why who knows…. wait I think I got them to make the Martha Washington Candy which I probably wont make for a long time….say goodbye.

After I was brutal…. and I mean brutal….. here is my cupboard now.

I can see space.

I have some teas, some salts and one or two big containers of pepper. The Au Jus is now in one of my lock and lock containers that I love.

But pretty much I cleared everything out.

cleaned out spice cabinet

I even found my Longaberger tea caddy. Cute basket.

Spice Cabinet After

Anything left would be stuff I would use. Cupcake liners, coffee filters, vanilla (which does not go bad) and a few cooking utensils like a pastry cutter and cocoa sprinkler (which I never used but is cute so it can stay)

Thank you A Slob Comes Clean for the inspiration.

A Slob Comes Clean

June 1st, 2019 klwade Posted in Declutter Project | No Comments »

I have started to listen to the podcast from Dana White called “A Slob Comes Clean”. She is a self proclaimed slob. It was her darkest secret. Now the world knows. I find her rather funny and also inspiring.

She also has books, book on tape and of course the podcast. There she is below, crazy but oh so inspiring.

Dana K White – A Slob Comes Clean

I would not call myself a slob…..I am an over clutterer. I have too much stuff. At times I feel that I am baby hoarder, you know, the first stages of hoarding. But I do not have those unnatural attachment to things, but I do hate to think of valuable things, many unused being given away.

I have finally come to the conclusion, I may never get to those projects I have been saving things for (I am a crafter and have tons of craft projects in a variety of stages _ quilt, I scrapbook, I make cards);. I cannot find homes for my items because I have too much stuff.

So it is time to let go some of this stuff. Give it a new home. Toss it away.

But there is just so much stuff I am almost paralyzed. I have no idea where to start. I started to watch videos about the Fly Lady and her method. A lot of it made sense. What I gathered from her was the following

  • doing just one thing is a step in the right direction
  • Dont beat yourself up, forgive yourself and keep moving
  • you did not make this mess in a day, you cannot clean it up in a day
  • establish small routines everyday to keep your house in order.

This was a great start but I struggled with her keeping the house in order. Having a clean sink when the entire kitchen was a mess just did not resonate with me. How do I get rid of clutter???

Then I started to listed to A Slob Comes Clean podcast. In the first podcast she said stuff that sounded just like me. Piles. No empty counter space, no place to put things, buying the item again because you can not find it in your house, hate having people over because of the mess.

Ugh this was me.

Although I have just started to listen to her, I have gained some insight on my dilemma

  • If one thing comes in (new shoes, new kitchen appliance, new sheets, an old one must leave, you cannot keep adding to the pile.
  • The concept of containers. She had a light bulb moment when she released the beauty of containers. No, not buying containers to hold your stuff, but every drawer, cupboard, closet is a container. Once the container is full, you get rid of the excess.

The container concept intrigued me. Yes, if my cupboard is filled with coffee mugs, there are mugs I do not use, or shoved in the back. Take all the mugs out and only put back the ones you really use and like. Seriously I cannot possibly like 80 mugs, I probably really really really like 10 of them.

So based on this new found knowledge, I am going to systematically go thru every drawer, every cabinet and get rid of stuff.

I am starting in my kitchen so I can finally have a clean counter.

Keep checking my blog to see the before and after pics and stories.

Postcrossing – More cards have arrived

June 1st, 2019 klwade Posted in Post Crossing, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Well I admit this is fun. I love when I find a card in the mail…so much better than bills or advertisements.

From Wuppertal, Germany

Arne mailed this from Wuppertal Germany near Colonge. He lives there with his family. He is a writer and hopes to one day be famous. He loves to read and write and even his children are both postcrossers. Maybe one day I will get a postcard from them.

Wuppertal is a city in western Germany. It’s known for its Schwebebahn, a suspension monorail dating from 1901. He was kind enough to send me a post card of their famous monorail.

It is also called the floating tram. Here is another picture of the tram but over the river. I would love to see this one day, if not, at least I get to see it via post card.

The Floating Tram
From the United Kingdom

Julie from the United Kingdom, Paignton on the South of England sent me this cute Coffee card. It is known for its pier, zoo and pudding riots. What the heck is a pudding riot!!!

Where Paignton is located.

So I did a little research, the pudding riots
(Story taken from imgur.com)

One summer’s day in 1859, in the idyllic town of Paignton which sits on the coast of the little toe like bit of England to the south a party of 850 locals and 300 railway workers gathered in Paignton for a feast to celebrate the extension of a line… Big on puddings, the locals made a Spotted Dick, that was 5ft tall, 13ft wide and weighed 1.5 tonnes.

Big on puddings, the locals made a Spotted Dick, that was 5ft tall, 13ft wide and weighed 1.5 tonnes to celebrate. A further 18,000 spectators turned out, and to keep those chaps entertained, 1,900 lbs of meat and bread and an unlimtied supply of the local Devonshire cider was provided

After a copious consumption of cider, these 18,000 or so guests decided it was a good idea to get the peace of the action …the people on the outside began to clamour for shares and, breaking down the fence, started forward to help themselves. The committee, worried by this turn of events, surrounded their charge and called on the five policemen present to assist them. The invited guests, feeling that they were being deprived of their rights, moved into the fray and in a moment committee, police, pudding and public were in one seething mass on the ground. By the time order was restored not a morsel of that delicious pudding remained…

From Arkansas, United States

The cute weinerdog card came from Arlett from Arkansas, United States.

I was her very first post card from Postcrossing! She has always wanted to visit California. She loves dogs and food! I think I like her.

From Taipei, Taiwan

This post card comes from Selina from Taipei, Taiwan. She loves photography and this card is actually one of her photos. She is entering collage in September and has always wanted a cat (her mom wont let her have one).

Her favorite drink is Bubble Milk Tea, which is quite yummy

She seems like a sweet young lady. I wish her the best in College.

From Australia

This was my first card from Australia. Irene loves to read. She has told me that the peoples poet of Australia is Henry Lawson. I have never heard of him, I need to check out his writing.

She also reads a lot, and collects framed paintings. She is a proud mama and “travels” thru all the post cards she gets thru Postcrossing.

From Russian girl who is in Peru

This cute Postcrossing post card came from Angelina from St Petersburg Russia. She just happens to be traveling in Peru and sent me this postcard.

She says if she could travel back in time she would like to go to ancient Greece. Too bad she did not tell me why.

Post Crossing – Bucket List Item

May 4th, 2019 klwade Posted in Bucket List, Post Crossing | No Comments »

I was reviewing my bucket list and discovered that I had added Post Crossing as a “easy to achieve” item. I doubt seeing the Northern Lights or lava is going to happen anytime soon, but I think this was one I could check off my list.

My original list said to send and a receive a postcard, I decided one was not enough. I have sent out 8 so far and have received 3.

My first card came from Dana, North Carolina, USA

My second card came from Dresden, Germany

and my third has come from Siberia, Russia

I am thinking there is a coffee theme happening here. I so look forward to seeing the other cards as they drift in.

If you have not checked out Post Crossings. Please do so here.

Christmas Meal – A failure in instructions – Sort of

January 13th, 2019 klwade Posted in Babbling and Observations, Recipes | No Comments »

Since I was staying home on Christmas Day with my little dogs, I decided to make a nice meal for myself.

I thought I would start off with Trader Joe’s Cinnamon roll wreath and finish off with the Trader Joe’s Cranberry Pie.

For my main meal, i was planning on having turkey & stuffing en croute from Trader Joe’s. The guy at the store told me a lot of people liked it and it was a popular item during the holidays.

So Christmas morning I woke up and after opening gifts I thought I would make the cinnamon rolls.

To my horror I discovered that I needed to PROOF the rolls over night. Damn. I resorted to the Pillsbury Pop Up cinnamon rolls in a can. Oh well.

Then I looked at the instructions on the turkey! Egads, I did not realize I needed to defrost it in the fridge for 24 hours. TWENTY FOUR hours. What the heck.

I decided to just thaw it out on the counter. The house was cold but warmer than the fridge, plus it was sealed in the bag. I figured I would not get sick.

So after several hours of defrosting, I was ready to put into the oven.

It was a bit interesting but it felt thawed.

Fortunately it came out yummy.

Turkey wrapped in stuffing with a pastry shell around it. It was quite good and actually came with cranberry sauce on the side. A very good dinner considering my failure to read.

As far as what I got myself for Christmas, well, besides the instant pot, is my letterboard saying below.

Christmas Morning 2018

January 2nd, 2019 klwade Posted in Babbling and Observations, Dogs | No Comments »

Christmas morning was a nice lazy morning. Unlike children, the dogs do not care it is Christmas Morning….until they see the toys.

Miss Olive breaking into the plastic bag

Miss Olive heard the squeak of a toy and went crazy digging into the bag. I have long since given up on wrapping the dogs gifts. A) they don’t appreciate it B) saves me money.

Miss Olive received two toys. A squirrel log with three squeaky squirrels. And a hot cocoa mug with three squeaky marshmallows.

As of today, I have no clue where the toys ended up. Probably under the bed.

Miss Penny received a new fluffy bed and a new red blanket. I need to sneak the old ones away and toss in the traash. They are so old and dirty, even after many washings.

Chilling in the new bed.

Penny was not sure, but then she got into it and relaxed. Her little face says it all.

A little video of Christmas Morning

Christmas Gifts for Co-workers

January 1st, 2019 klwade Posted in Babbling and Observations, Crafts | No Comments »

I tend to get carried away.

As I do every year. Not sure why I do that.

Besides the Jam I made for my co-workers, I also gave them cute socks. I had a hard time figuring out how to package the socks. Then I decided to use the same type of labels that I did for the jam jars.

You can get these labels HERE

I photo shopped these to make them smaller so they would fit over socks.

I also used some candy cellophane bags I had in the drawer to package the socks.

Cute Socks ready to give. Get your own HERE

I got these cute socks at Target. They have the cutest socks out there. I especially like the Xhilaration brand. Cute as can be. I just noticed they have Valentines socks. Oh dear.

What was so cool is when I posted my socks on Instagram, Valerie McKeehan from Lily & Val, who designed the chalkboard labels made a comment about my post. How cool is that?

Of course I received a couple of gifts from co-workers and I felt awkward, so I decided to make some treat holders.

Pot Bellies from Papertrey Ink. Get Yours HERE

These super cute dies make a quick treat goodie, unless you make thirty of them like I did. I did not want to forget anyone for the holidays. So all weekend I was gluing stuff again. Big Sigh!

Reindeer Pot Bellie Die
Penguin Pot Belly
Santa Pot Belly

I am not sure which one I think is cuter! I have to admit I am glad that is all over with. I will try not to do that again.

Autumn Bucket List – Make Jam (now Christmas)

January 1st, 2019 klwade Posted in Bucket List | No Comments »

I had added onto my bucket list to make Jam for the peeps at work.

I have this nifty Fresh Tech Jam/Jelly Maker that makes the stirring part super easy. I have used it a couple of times and it could not be easier.

Jam Maker in Action

Here is a little video that shows you how super easy it is.

The hardest part is the sterilizing the jars and doing the water bath. I am wondering if I can do that in my instapot. Must research that.

Steaming up with Strawberry Jam
Starting to heat up the water bath

Since I wanted to decorate the lids with those damn cute labels from Lily and Val, she only had Strawberry and Raspberry jam labels. Since you can use frozen fruit I was really hoping to find frozen raspberries but no luck so I spent a small fortune on the fresh raspberries.

Find these labels HERE

So after two days of messy jars and jam juice, I had the mason jars ready to decorate.

See the Cute Jam Labels

I really struggled on how to decorate the jars. Originally I was going to put a fabric cover on the jam but never got around to ordering the fabric liked.

Then I thought I would add some Tim Holtz doo dads on the package. I was shocked to discover I had NO Christmas doo-dads. I need to fixed that ASAP.

I did find that I had some little bitty crocheted strawberries that I got on ebay a million years ago. I finally found a use for them.

Cute Crocheted Strawberrys

I did find some simple tags from Tim Holtz that I tied on with bakers twine and ribbon.

Cute jars!

The jam was a huge success. Even Grumpy Pants in the office told me that he really liked the jam and he thought I should make jam and sell it. He said he definitely would buy it. LOL

Jars all ready to go!

I would like to try some other options like vanilla strawberry, or strawberry lavender. We shall see since it has been a few years since I did this before, it might take a few years more for me to make the next batch.

At least I got another bucket list item taken off the list.

Christmas Card Making – 2018

January 1st, 2019 klwade Posted in Cardmaking, Crafts | No Comments »

For the last few years I have made my Christmas Cards instead of buying them. Not sure what prompted that change. Maybe I had more time, maybe I could not find cards I like, maybe I am just plum crazy.

Tell-Tale signs of cards to come.

This year I snagged the card design from Cathy Z using Honey Bee Stamps. I also did my cards last year from Honey Bee Stamps.

Tray after tray of snowman cards!

Although these cards were easy to make I had to glue a million little letters and pieces together.

Of course I was late mailing my cards again. Like every year!

Some of the Snowman Styles

I decided this year to decorate the envelopes as well. I used my new Maltese Return Address Stamp on the card. It looks like Ms. Olive.

For the inside of the card I used a Tim Holtz Christmas Stamp that I had found in my stash. Thought it would work perfectly.

And then on the back I have my Handmade by ShinyTinFoil.com stamp. I just ordered it on Etsy and the dear woman mailed it within one day. It is adorable and I will have to order one with my name versus my brand.

And the final piece is the envelope. The bunnies come from the same Stamp Set.

However the thrill of it all, is that once I posted it on Instagram, Honey Bee Stamps reposted it. I received over 600 likes and got some new followers on Instagram! Yahoo!

Honey Bee Stamps on Instagram – 613 Likes YAHOO!!!

I mailed off the stamps and the some peeps let me know they got theirs. No returns in the mail (as of yet).

Until next year.

I really need to get started sooner. LOL.

Adding to the Simon Says Anything Goes Contest!

Autumn is Here! Finally

December 26th, 2018 klwade Posted in Babbling and Observations, Outdoor | No Comments »

It seems to take forever for Autumn to show up in Southern California. Here it is in December and I noticed the neighbors trees had finally turned golden.

Golden Autumn Leaves

When I drive to work I drive down a street that has beautiful trees that turn golden and red with a touch of light green. And for a brief moment I have Autumn. I love the feeling. I tell myself I simply must move somewhere that actually has autumn. And an Autumn that happens in November and not December.

Autumn here only lasts for a few weeks before the trees are bare, and winter is here. On this particular day all the trees had turned golden. I marveled on the drive home how pretty all the trees where. When I parked my car, I looked up and noticed the glory of the golden leaves I just had to capture it, if only to remember Autumn for more than a week.