Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Finding the Perfect in the Imperfect

My post yesterday was all about my pantry. I felt a little embarrassed, showing my pantry, it certainly doesn't look like those magazine perfect pantries you see on pinterest, or other blogs. It isn't any ones dream pantry. Nothing to drool over, probably nothing even blog worthy. But here's the thing, my life isn't perfectly perfect. I have unfinished rooms, piles that seem to reappear as soon as they disappear. I have big ideas for my house that will take me years to accomplish, not to mention to save for. But somehow this undone, mismatch, wish it was, will be some day, work in progress life is enough.

It's funny, this crazy competition we all take part in, sometimes with out even realizing it. We strive to be good enough, to have a pantry that is blog worthy, and the house that others will pin as their inspiration, when we should just be proud of and embrace what we have. We should be making our lives perfect for us, not to keep up with the Jones's, because quite frankly if we were to ever really got inside Mrs. Jones's closed doors, we would realize that she has problems, she has messes, and she is probably comparing her pantry to the  lady next door.

I'm not saying we shouldn't strive for better, we should. But we should not feel inadequate if we don't ever achieve better. Sometimes good enough really is good enough and sometimes better should get trumped by something more important. And sometimes we need to just step back and look at our pantries and say, "I like my pantry, perfect or not, it is mine and it is good enough. Just like me and just like you.

So, will I attempt to make all my baskets match in that perfect enough pantry? Yep! But until I do I will  love that pantry just the same. Sort of like I will love myself just the same.  I know I could be better in every aspect of my life, but I also now I'm pretty awsome just as I am.

Tell yourself you are enough today, tell your pantry, tell your kids, tell Mrs. Jones. And then make them all believe it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pantry organization and my cereal storage solution

Good morning! It is still beautifully snowy outside this morning! As much as I have the spring bug, I must admit the sun shining with frost and snow blanketing everything is a gorgeous site to see!

 I recently did a pantry beautification/organization. You all know I have some issues and things that are organized, functional and look good are kinda my thing.

Here some of the ways I keep my pantry tidy and organized. First I removed everything. I bought the checkered liner at Fred Meyer, and lined all of the shelves. Someday I would like to paint the shelves and go with clear liner.

Bins and baskets. I do wish mine all matched, but I used what I had on hand. I may get busy with some spray paint if I don't find some that are perfect at the right price. Most of the plastic ones are from the dollar store. The wicker type ones are from Fred Meyer, or TJ Maxx. White baskets with a little chalk board label would be perfect and I'm on the look out.

But for now.... Instead of keeping all of the granola bars, breakfast bars, microwave popcorn etc. in their boxes (that never get closed) I dump them in to a bin, labeled of course. Small spice mix packets are in a small wood bin I found at Jo Ann's. Floor space is used for bulky items. Bins for corralling flour and sugar, small bags of chips, potatoes, and my back up coffee pods.

Jars. I put items we always have in the pantry in jars, also anything I buy in the bulk bins at the grocery store. These go on sale often and can be found at thrift stores and TJ Maxx type places for cheap. Tape on cute labels, the cute ones I used were from The Farm Chicks store that is sadly now closed, you can add instructions for preparing as I did with my oatmeal. Scrap book paper also makes for cute labels. I just taped on with packing tape.

Group like items together. Mac and Cheese, Top Ramen and Maddie' s favorite dry soup go in a basket together. All the pasta is put in a basket together.Canned goods are grouped together on risers, all wire shelves are from Shopko. All breakfast foods are on a shelf together. As well as baking stuff etc.


Cereal boxes are so bulky and take up so much space. Here is my solution.  I take all bags out of their boxes. I made clothes pin labels to tell what is what, and put them all in a big basket.

Here is a how to make your own cereal clothes pins. It is easy peasy.

You will need, scissors, clothes pins and chalk board con-tact paper. Chalk pens work best because of the small surface you will be writing on. (I also used the con-tact paper and chalk pen on some if the jars.) I could only find both the con-tact paper and the markers at Michael's.

Simply measure and cut con-tact paper to the width of the clothes pins, remove the backing and stick it on. Trim any over hang with tiny scissors. Then write the kinds of cereal. These don't have to be perfect...

Place them all in a big basket.

Lastly here is a full veiw.
So, does my pantry always look this tidy? No, but pretty close. It just needs a little straightening now and then. With a place for everything, everything is almost always in it's place.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


So much for Spring being on it's way! Maybe I jinxed us all! Oh well it is beautiful! I can't imagine a prettier place to come home too.

Guess I will have to stay in, curl up on the couch by the fire and relax!

It is only February but.... I am still  going to be dreaming of cute little sandals.... ;) ~Shelby

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Gift of Calm

"Regular rest for the spirit is as necessary for their healthy growth  as sleep, fresh air, and good food. And just as our children depend on us for three meals a day, they also need us to prepare peaceful spaces for them in the midst of this busy world.... They need time to stop and exhale, time to feel centered, safe and whole."

 Mitten Strings For God - Reflections For Mothers In A Hurry (Katrina Kenison)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Office recap and a few of my favorite things!

I did it! I knocked off every office goal on my list yesterday! My husband even went through every thing in his pile. (Thanks baby!) Wish I had taken before pictures! Here is the after...

You can actually see the floor!!!

A spot for each kiddo's school work.
Cut down on the books... again! At least they all fit in the basket. I did box some up to save for my Grand babies!! :)

Ordered my CD boxes and I got a waste basket!

A few of my favorite things!!

#1. The office! It is clean and organized. It is such a satisfying feeling to complete a project!

#2 Thankful that I can be here for my sick little kiddos, Maddie was home Thursday- Wednesday. She went back today and now I have Conner home. Thankful to be a stay at home mom.

#3. Signs of Spring!!! A few robins were in my yard this morning! The pussy willow tree up the road is in bloom! Spring is on it's way and I'm ready!!

#4. I'm a sky watcher. When the sun goes down, the mountainside behind my house is breathtaking.

I love the rosy glow and the way the trees become illuminated.

#5. Basketball. Conner has had a great season. He has improved so much. I'm also thankful this is the last week!! I'm ready for a lull before spring sports start.

Think Spring!!! ~Shelby

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

PURGE PARTY~ the office

I am a tidy person by nature. I like things orderly and neat. I am a huge fan of organization;  list, schedules and charts make me happy. I think this is both a blessing and a curse.

I feel like order calms the mind, and makes for a calmer rhythm in your life. I know that if I am stressed by messes and chores undone I am not the mommy or wife I want to be. I believe that most, if not all, children thrive in an environment that is calm, clean and clutter free. I am a cleaner upper all day. I so dislike not being able to find things!

I tend to "lose it" when my house isn't in order. While this has improved, I still become a bit edgy when the house is a mess and the chores aren't done. This is usually when I begin the lecture on my beloved family not taking care of their stuff. It is typically after a few weeks of our lives being busier than I like. As I have said before... I enjoy a slower pace and believe I am a better me when I'm not crazy busy.

We have lived in our house for almost 3 years. I got rid of a bunch before we moved but as we have lived here I feel like a big purge is necessary. We have toooo much stuff. I am going to go room by room and get rid of anything I don't need, use or LOVE!!!

I am tackling the office today. It is room that has never truly gotten finished and where everything that doesn't have a home winds up. I want to reclaim this space as a place for work. The decor need to be pared down and the paperwork organized. Eventually I'd like this room to be painted and "decorated", but organized is the first step. Sooo, here's my plan for today.

Goal #1. A waste basket would be nice in here, don't ya think? The last one cracked so I tossed it and have yet to replace it.

Goal #2 Move Lego and block bins to hall closet... which means the dreaded picture box (we are talking BIG box! It is ridiculous!) must be gone through and organized. I will get to that job, in the mean time the picture box will sit quietly in the corner of the living room.

Goal #3 Clean off desk and create a place for kids to put school work that need to be worked on.

Goal #4 Clean out file drawer and side drawer, then reorganized these spaces.

Goal #5 Children's books. I have them all in a big basket and I MUST get rid of some more. I have done this 3 times already, I love them all too much.

Goal #6 Pare down clutter, this room has way too many nicknacks.

Goal #7  Need to order storage boxes for huge box of Cd's.

Goal #8 Get my people to go through their piles I may have created during this process.

Goal #9 Move piano to the shop. Takes up too much space and no longer has a little girl to play it. (will wait till spring)

Goal #10 Final touches!!

So here goes!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

MIA and a recap

I haven't been posting in a long while, sometimes I feel like I get too personal and it makes me feel uncomfortable, maybe embarrassed that the real me is showing. Sometimes, I feel like I come across as though I think I have all the answers when I soooo do not. I just write about me... feeling my way through, learning and making mistakes all the while. I enjoy my blog... and I do it for me, which is good because no one else is reading it! (Except you honey, thank you for being my fan!) I just write to sort out how I feel and what I think. After much thought and some panic I have decided to continue. If the real me comes out I guess I have to deal with that.

I think blogging lets you be a tourist in your own life. It can make you see the little moments in your life as worthy as the big ones.

Here's a picture recap of what's been happening around here, big moments and little ones alike. They all make a life worth living.

We celebrated Maddie's 11th birthday in Disneyland. How's that for a BIG moment! We had amazing weather, maybe that is where I caught the "spring" bug?

Superbowl was complete with delicious food and a game of flag football.

Asian hot wings from Pioneer Woman... Amazingly delicious!!

I got some gorgeous flowers from my sweet Valentine.


We went to Conner's school auction. They didn't actually wear the hats, but had a great time being silly trying different accents. I love those goofy kids!!

I "won" this cool canvas. It was the 7th grade project and I am in love with it!

Had a little girl home sick. Which meant lots of homework catch up. She is, thankfully, such a responsible student and a hard little worker! 

We made a few trips to the book store for the boy who can't stop reading!! Can you believe he got a new book on Friday afternoon and was done Monday morning!?

We all did facials.. yes, ALL of us! Complete with spa music and cucumbers on the eyes! Yes, even my husband isn't he the greatest?!

I gave pedicures...

We played games...

I moved all the games to an open bookcase in the family room....wish I had done it long ago, they are played so much more now.

We pretended it was summer and bought a watermelon...

Conner did some school fundraising...

We worked on a cool science project...

We had Valentine's parties, a quick trip to the lake, basketball games, dinner out with friends and all those wonderful ordinary moments in between. 

in your appreciation
of the so-called
little things.
~Robert Holden~

The little things are my favorite things. Like cozy, lazy days around the house to read or play with Lego's, trips to the grocery store with my kids, and just enjoying the natural rhythm of life inside our family. Noticing and appreciating the little things makes a big difference. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sweet and Sour Cocktail Smokies

I got this recipe from my Mother-in-law. They are at all our football parties and never miss a Christmas! Simple to make in the slow cooker and there is never a smokie left! Perfect for your Super bowl party!

Sweet and Sour Cocktail Smokies 

2 cans Contidina sweet and sour sauce
1 can crushed pineapple
2 packages little smokies

Dump all in to slow cooker and cook on low 4-6 hours.