Random Happiness

Today I thought I would share with you some things that make me happy.

Something that happened this weekend made me VERY happy.  Can you guess?

Oh yes!  It opened in my town bright and early on Sunday morning.  And guess who was there.  Waiting in line.  By 7:30 am.

My little troupe and I perused the aisles with joy.  Okay, maybe I was perusing with joy, but they do have Thomas trains, so my kids were fascinated, of course.   Two main categories of items I can always count on at Home Goods are storage and lamps.  After I found a large box of OXO pop-top containers, I knew immediately what I had to do.

Amazon

Organize my pantry.  A bit of a neglected space as of late.

Yes, this is going to be an earth shattering post today!

I grabbed the box and headed to the storage solutions area to grab a few baskets to make my pantry pretty.  Since I have been a Home Goods shopper several years now, I have found the best strategy for me is to grab everything I think I might like or might work and just return later.  This is especially important when I have my kids because it makes the trip faster.  Four kids four and under do not want to sit quietly and calmly in a cart while I ponder what reed I like best on baskets.

So here is the hard truth of what my pantry looked like pre-Home Goods organization.

Happy as could be, I got home, and filled my containers and organized my baskets.  I wanted to get rid of as much packaging as I could, but I didn’t want to lose the directions of how to cook things!  So I cut out the directions label for food items that had them and taped it on the underside of the lids.

This whole pantry-organizing project took me one fast-moving nap time.  (this is how I often measure time commitments when it comes to projects I want to do)  It is not necessarily Martha Stewart worthy, but it is clean (I took everything out and scrubbed the shelves, too) and functional.  A basket holds miscellaneous baking supplies (colored sugars, flavorings, etc.), and a small basket with compartments is perfect for meat rubs and seasonings.  I put all of the oils together and vinegars together, and created a snack basket for the kids.  Keep in mind organizing your pantry does not have to be super glamorous.  Yes, I like my pretty baskets and OXO containers, but I also have a Williams Sonoma bag on the bottom shelf holding my plastic bags.  One of my biggest pet peeves about my pantry is the plastic container situation.  I have yet to find a storage solution for these silly things where this area stays nice and neat.  To try something new, I put all of the lids on the bottom shelf, and all of the containers above.  We’ll see.

I try not to keep many things in the pantry because I find a large pantry usually means buying food not necessarily healthy for my family.  So if you look at this and think, “where is all of her stuff?!”, it is not because we only eat out, it is simply because I try to be diligent about cooking fresh.  You may also notice, we love peanut butter.

Yes, that is eight different canisters!  I was a little surprised myself!  While we are on the subject of peanut butter, I thought I would share with you something sweet I like to make.

Take a tablespoon and put it in a bowl, along with a few dark chocolate chips.  (Ghiradelli is my preferred brand of dark chocolate)  Put it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

After you take it out, stir it up, and it looks like this.

Now put some icecream on top.  I prefer a little coffee and a little dark chocolate icecream to keep things interesting.

And wha-la!  A yummy special treat.

You may have also noticed we love Bonne Marman preserves.  Although we do adore the yummy freshness of Bonne Marman, they are kind of expensive at $3.99 a pop.  However, a year or so ago, I was shopping and saw a clearance for them, and they were a dollar.  One dollar!  I grabbed a ton.  And this is what we are down to now.  In our house, Bonne Marman is not just about preserves.  We keep the jars and drink out of them.

I love their little French inscription.

Since they come with those cute little red and white gingham lids, I have used the jars for a variety of purposes.  One was to make little trifles for my daughter’s second birthday party.  They were a big hit!

Dark chocolate brownies, homemade chocolate pudding, homemade whipped cream, dark chocolate chips, and marshmallows – yummy and cute!

To bring it back around, one last before and after.

Does organization make you happy?  What are your organization tips?  Have you made something yummy lately?

 

7 Responses to “Random Happiness”

  1. Anna Panagopoulos August 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    Can’t wait to go to our new Home Goods! I am going to show my husband your wonderfully organized pantry, so he wont complain about my trip there! (I will undoubtedly come home with a cart full of things!) Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!

    • Grace August 27, 2012 at 11:08 am #

      Anna, send me a picture of your revamped pantry! I’d love to see it! Yay for organization!

  2. Damaris @Kitchen Corners August 24, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    Your kids are beautiful! I’m so glad I got to meet you today.

    • Grace August 27, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      Thank you so much, Damaris! I so enjoyed meeting you in NYC!

    • Grace September 4, 2012 at 6:09 am #

      Damaris! You are so lovely to stop by the blog. I, too, enjoyed meeting you at Alt NYC! Hope you are still feeling well, November babies are so wonderful!

  3. Mommy Chic August 26, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    This post reminded me of how long it’s been since I’ve been to a HomeGoods so I hit one up (sans hubs & kiddo!) this weekend and impulse bought a cart load of stuff! (My husband thanks you, by the way. 😉 Of course, much of it doesn’t fit where I had planned, which just gives me another excuse to go back. I think I’ve officially hit the nesting stage & have started a list of projects to accomplish while on leave (because I’ll totally have time to do all of it with a toddler & new baby, right???)

    • Grace August 27, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      Oh goodness, I know. My hubby just rolls his eyes a little when I tell him I am going. 🙂 I always return several things though.