Monday, July 29, 2013

Organizing My Home - Step One - Under the kitchen sink

School is a month away and this year I have to get two kids on the school bus by roughly 8am.  I need to have a routine in place for packing lunches and the only way to do this is to get my kitchen organized.  I have realized I can't do this all at once and I just don't have the time.  So I plan to do it step by step in the next few weeks. 
I decided to start with under the sink.  This has always been a place for, well, everything!  Every time I needed something, I would open it up and something would fall out.  I'd search through the clutter until I found what I knew to be in there (somewhere) and shove everything back in and shut the door before something else jumped out.  Not an organized space to say the least. 

First I took everything out!  I had over a hundred plastic bags-big and small.  I only really use the small ones for trash baskets and stinky diapers.  I also had too many paper bags from the grocery store.  The bags really took up most of the cabinet.  I decided to keep only the small bags and a few paper bags.  Everything else went out with recycling.  Once I took them all out, I could see what else was in there.  I decided what I didn't want to be in there and what needed to stay.  I had Ziploc bags of all sizes in there and I have to find a new spot for them.  They just didn't belong. 

So what did I keep?  Dish soap, dishwasher pods, dishwasher spot remover, cleaning wipes, gloves, rags, baking soda, paper towels, Swiffer duster refills, Swiffer duster, dustpan and broom and kitchen trash can bags.  I decided for the space to be efficient  I'd need to stop there.  I felt better already.

I mounted a plastic bag dispenser (with the adhesive on the back of it-easy).  This took care of all the bag clutter.  I used two bins that I bought at Marshalls to hold the rest of the items.  I also hung up the Swiffer duster handle.  What a difference!  I feel organized every time I go to open up the door.  Ahhhhh. Freedom!   
Here is the reveal.  I am sorry I didn't take a Before picture.  My camera was at work and I was way to motivated to stop myself.........
 Hmmmm, now what area to tackle next.  I need a good place for baggies and Tupperware used to pack the kids lunches.  I'm going from packing one lunch to two.  I also try to pack my husband's lunch, but he leaves for work at 6:30am.  It all depends what time the kids get me up.  I haven't set my alarm since I had my first baby over 6 years ago.  Maybe this year I will start.  Then I could have my cup of coffee in peace before everyone else gets up.  Sounds good to me!

Can you feel how relaxed I am?  This is my first post of many that will show the progress I am making to get my house in order. 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Green Smoothie Love

This morning I had tons of fresh fruit so I quickly cut it all up and put it in the freezer to "flash-freeze".  I left it in for about 1 1/2 hours, which is perfect timing for me to finish my coffee first.  I drink a cup or two of coffee every morning before I drink my smoothie. 

This is how I put the fruit in.  I used a cake pan only because I had just made a cake for my son's birthday party.  It worked out nice actually!

When I took it out of the freezer, I just dumped it right into my blender.  Here are the rest of the ingredients I used:
 I used about 2 cups of Almond Breeze (unsweetened/30 calories).  I threw in 2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach, a large drizzle of honey to sweeten and about a teaspoon each of Ground Flaxseed and Chia Protein Powder.  I put it all in together and blended until smooth.  I like to blend it for about 2 minutes to make sure it's all smooth.
 And here's the finished product.  Yummy!  It was icy, but not thick.  I had two cups.  This is all I had for breakfast and it kept me full all morning.
I like to start my day with a green smoothie.  It makes me feel like I've started the day off right and I've already had some greens!  Try it!  You can't taste them I swear!
Have a wonderful morning!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Keeping it clean on vacation.

My family and I just returned from a week-long vacation to Vermont.  We stayed in a beautiful house shared by 5 families (my in-laws and their families).  It really was breathtaking.  Almost every bedroom had a view of the lake.

My family as you know eats pretty well, meaning organic and as healthy as possible.  We knew that going on vacation meant that we'd be letting the rules slide a bit so that we could eat with the rest of the family.  It was harder than that though.  My kids are 6 1/2, almost 5 and 21 months.  Their "cousins" were 15, 13 and 10.  They had a few things in their diets that we don't normally touch: Gatorade, Fruit Loops, Tootsie Pops and juice.  We do give the kids juice, but usually 1 a day and it's organic.  It was soooo hard to say no to the kids while the other kids were eating these snacks in front of them.  It was even harder to explain answers to their "why" questions in front of these other kids and/or their parents.  I didn't want to be rude or stuck up by saying something to the effect of, "we don't eat that type of food because it isn't good for our bodies" or "that has too much sugar in it" or " that has dye in it".  How awful does that sound?  It's like saying they don't have good parents!  Or that their parents feed them food that isn't good for them.  It was interesting to say the least. 

I was able to stay away from the Fruit Loops because of the dyes.  I just said, "no but you can have....".  They ended up having a few Tootsie Pops with the other kids.  I also let my son, who is 4 and 3/4 try a few sips of clear Gatorade.  He liked it of course!  Oh and I bought my own Nitrate-free hot dogs even though we bought a whole container of regular hot dogs for the rest of the family.  I felt guilty but I had to do it.

As for myself, I ate as well as I could.  I had greens at almost every meal and drank lots of water.  I bought a green smoothie at the store and drank a bit every day.  It made me feel better about the over-eating during meals.  My body definitely felt a little "off", but since being home it's getting closer to normal.

The kids had crazy bedtimes on vacation, again because the older kids didn't go to bed until much later.  Sometimes it ended up being 10pm before we got them to bed (the baby stayed pretty consistent though with a 6:30/7pm bedtime).  We have been home two days and already are on a much better schedule. 

There is no place like home.  It's so good to be back.

Do you feel as if vacations send you spiraling into unhealthy eating?