Organizing our Kitchens

Organizing is endless...

now that it's the beginning of another new year, it appears that we all have organizing on our minds! so i thought i would combine together all my related projects in one post. i love bringing order to our home. i have finished a few such spaces, but have plenty more to tackle. 

when you start your project, i found the first thing to do, is measure your space and figure out what your container needs are. once i measured, i headed down to the container store and picked out the right system that i needed. then once home, i just cleaned out the cabinet and started to fill the cleaned containers. i also, made some chalkboard labels, since my daughter is on a gluten free diet and we need easy identification of all the foods she can eat. since, i had to make quite a few labels, i ended up making my own with a roll of adhesive chalkboard paper. it is the best way to save money and you can design your own labels to the size and shape that you need. also, i can't get enough of this cool sticker paper. here is the link to buy it on amazon: chalkboard paper  next, you'll want to cut out the labels, and here is the link to the blog post of how to make them: jar labels

~ a funny note about the nester ~

my husband accuses me of having containers for containers! do you share this obsession?

since organizing our snack drawer, we pretty much eat all our snacks and we are no longer wasting food. i love that the containers are glass and we can see and read the contents in the jars! this has been a really awesome system and i must admit, it has continued to work even after the initial reorganizing! you know how you might have the best intentions to keep things neat and tidy and within a couple a weeks, you're back to your old habits. well, i believe that if you design a good organizing system, it should continue to do the job despite your laziness! if you have this success, then you've set up a foundation that is real and user friendly! here is the link on amazon for these great jars: jars

i love the location of this draw, kind of out of the main flow and tucked under the microwave. 

these coffee canisters are recycled into these fun containers! i just covered them with some cute scrapbooking paper and added a little spray shellac on the surface. here is the link to this blogpost: canisters link

i find that if you make an organizing container cute, you're more likely to keep it out on your counter and also, you end up system that works! look how cute these canisters are, located on my kitchen shelves!   

i love how these containers hold our food tight and away from bugs. they also, stack quite nicely on top of each other. here is the link to my blog post: labels

i love this idea from, momendeavors. i have so many packages of food that are difficult to see and this would be a nice way to organize them in catagories. hmm... this maybe a future project and blog post!

i really need a more efficient way to store our canned food. i'm liking this system i found on amazon. here's the link on amazon

i love this additional way of organizing cans, from eleven gables! she has a wonderful blog, so hop on over there to view all her kitchen organizing.

i still have some major organizing projects for 2015, so stay tuned and sign up for my website and you'll receive my posts via an email. i hope this has inspired you to start an organizing project, let me know your latest, by leaving a comment.  i would love to hear from you!

The Best Lemon Sour Cream Pie

Luscious Lemon Sour Cream Pie

did you know that the other day, january 23rd was national pie day? ok, i'm a little late to the party, but better late than never. around our house, pie is a very important dessert. right now, we have 2 pies in our kitchen. most the time, pumpkin pie is the favorite with my husband and son. but, today i want to highlight a different pie! since we live in california, wintertime around here produces lemons. luckily for us, our home came with one lemon bush and one lime bush. since living here, we have planted a few more and a friend gave us a meyer lemon tree, that i have on our front porch. this is the first year in a long time that my lemon tree is full of fruit. last year we had some hard frosts, and we failed to cover the plant, so all the lemons dropped off. but this year, we have an abundance of lemons, and i thought i would try a few recipes. if you are looking for a creamy and not too tart lemon pie, you're in luck. this recipe is from my mom's collection and it is probably one of the best and easiest pies to make. i cheated a bit and bought a pre made pie crust but, if you make your own pie crust, that would make it even more scrumptious!

~ a funny note about the nester ~

about a couple years ago, my entrepreneur daughter, wanted to sell some lemonade.  unbeknownst to me, my husband let her and her friend use the lemons off our tree. ok, they stripped the tree, and used something like 30 lemons! that was the most expensive lemonade we have ever made!

sour cream lemon filling

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 egg yolks, unbeaten
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream

make a pie crust and bake. once the crust is cooled, make the pie filling. combine sugar and cornstarch in saucepan. add butter, lemon zest, and juice, and egg yolks. stir in milk. cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick. cool. fold in sour cream. spoon unto pie shell. chill at least 2 hours. serve with whipped cream.

here is my lemon bush! you can see the leaves got a little damaged from our frost. we did remember to cover them this year. 

i love my little thrift shop find in the background. i found the little clock in our local second hand store. it sits happily in our yellow kitchen. 

i know that some of the country is experiencing a cold front and snow storms. so, i hope my post can keep you hopeful of springtime! strangely, we are having spring conditions here in california. keep warm and i'm sending you a bucket load of sunshine your way. have a wonderful day and thanks for visiting!

Ikea Ektorp Sofas. Cleaning Tips for the White Slipcovers

 ikea ektorp chairs are the best!

out with the old and in with the new. in our case, it's out with the dark colors, and in with white and light. we have lived in our northern cal house for about five years, and after remodeling the kitchen, family room, dining room and living room, i’m finally getting around to decorating our home with furniture. as some of you know, we used to live in seattle, washington, before moving to sunny california. while we lived in the pacific northwest, i collected dark furniture and décor that basically emulated the starbucks coffee shops! it was a nice and cozy feel, and perfect for those long dark winters! but, now that we are living in california, my soul craves light and white. so, at the end of 2014, we took the plunge and bought a crate and barrel white slipcover couch. i did a ton of research, and even shared a blogpost on my fabric stain test. here is the link to that post: stain post    i thought, that if i was going to purchase a white sofa, i wanted to know how it was going to clean up. so far, the sofa has been awesome, and surprisingly, we have kept it pretty clean. i must let you know that we don’t have any pets, since my son is allergic to everything fun. also, my kids are teenagers, and aren’t allowed to eat anything in the living room. and if you noticed on the chair in the foreground, there is a faux fur blanket, that i have the kids throw down before sitting..

so, first we bought our crate and barrel sofa, but the chairs that went with the set were so expensive, that my husband nearly had a heart attack. so we opted not to buy the 2 chairs. i still really wanted the complete white décor, so on a whim i hopped onto craigslist for a quick looky! well, there were a few ikea, ektorp white slipcover chairs for sale! they ranged in price, from $40-$150. so i contacted an owner, who were selling their chair. but, of course the slipcovers were pretty stained. i quickly, looped my teenage son into taking a trip into san francisco, so that he could help carry the chair and also act as my body guard. the young couple just had a baby, and no longer had the space for their chair. they were instead, bursting with baby accouterments and needing more space. the wife looked sleep deprived and her parent’s were like, please take the sofa too! it was a funny scene and i felt like the wife really looked like she was on a verge of a nervous breakdown… or just needing a lot of sleep!

here is a photo from our first trip into the city. i thought i would share with you the steep hills of san francisco! the funny thing about the san francisco city dwellers, is that they are so tight for space, that they are giving up these pretty bulky ikea chairs for more essential home décor!

anyway, we picked up a second chair and the gal who was selling it, threw in a very cute grey petal style pillow. you can see the pillow in the above photo. so overall i feel that, craigslist was the perfect solution for outfitting my new white living room.

now, onto the cleaning of these white slipcovers. 

here is a sample of the dirt that i was faced with. i was pretty intimidated at first. 

i must state that this cleaning method should only be used on ikea ektorp white slipcovers!

1       without hesitation,  i first soaked them in 1/3 part water and 2/3 chlorine bleach.  then when some of the stains were still there, i did try a little bit of oxyclean. i soaked them according to the directions.

2    on the tough stains, the only thing that worked was pouring straight bleach on the stains and watching them disappear. i didn’t let them sit for hours in the bleach, but rather watched them. i was worried that if i let them sit too long, the fabric would turn yellow. i didn’t have this happen, but i have had it happen on white clothes. on one of the slipcovers, it had either a pencil or pen mark, and i was worried i wasn’t going to get the stain out. you see, when i did my little stain test in my previous post, the pen mark was very difficult to get out. but, strangely the stain came out pretty quickly with bleach.

3      i washed the all the slipcovers in regular detergent and washed them on my machine’s white setting. i have heard that the hot water will shrink the covers. it was difficult for me to tell if it had shrunk since they were used slipcovers.  

4      i have read that some people will wash their ektorp slipcovers with 2 scoops of oxyclean in their washing machine. i didn’t do this step, and they still came out clean.

5      if you have a bad stain, make sure you handle it immediately, don’t leave it in for the next day. i found in my stain test, that the pen mark i tested was really difficult to get out when i waited until the next day to deal with it. i also read on the internet other bloggers saying the same thing. 

so, if you buy either a new or used ektorp chair and you happen to just want a new slipcover, ikea sells the white ones for $29! so, the chair in this photo has a brand new slipcover. it turns out that this chair had dog stains (it looked like red paw stains) that i just couldn’t remove. so after many washes, i decided to just buy a new one. the price is so reasonable, that i think i’ll buy a different color, so i can switch out the look every now and then. i’m sold on the ikea chair and especially buying them on craigslist is the best way to go. for the two chairs, i paid $90 and then an extra $29 for a new slipcover. 

just on a side note, since we are talking about ikea. i recently bought this cute clock from there, and it kind of reminds me of a modern version of the beautiful swedish mora clocks. well, as you probably guessed i’m not too into the bright yellow color. so, i wanted to spray paint it white. i bought the rust-oleum semi-gloss enamel paint and sprayed the clock with about 3 coats.

ok, this is way too bright for even me, who likes yellow these days!

it was nice that the clock totally came apart. the clock face was held in place with 3 screws on the inside of the clock. and the glass was held on by sticky tape in which i gently pried the glass off. to paint the inside rim of the clock face, i sprayed a bit of paint on a paper plate and quickly brushed the paint on with a paintbrush. the whole thing took about 2-3 coats. when painting it, follow the directions on the can, some strange thing happened on my last coat, i got a few bubbles happening on the paint surface. i did make sure that i wasn’t spraying it in our cold garage. But, still it bubbled up. i ended up scrapping it up and starting all over again, in the various spots.

here is a close up.

the clock is pretty big and bulky, so i thought it looked best on my hearth.

thanks so much for visiting, and i hope your new year is off to a good start. i have a lot of ideas brewing for future posts, so definitely sign up to get updates via your email. you will only receive emails, when i write a new blogpost, and i promise that’s all you’ll receive.

take care and happy new year’s! 

~ a funny note about the nester ~
every time i start to put decor up 
on our walls, we end up moving! 
so, my husband is afraid that my latest obsession of
putting up mirrors and prints is a ominous sign 
about our future!

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