Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pantry redo, book reviews and a little of what we've been up to :-)

February already! I can't believe how quickly the time is passing by! I have been busy working on organization as I like starting each new year with a fresh start! The first thing on my list was my pantry. Over the holidays it became one big cluttered mess! Yes, I hesitate always posting the before pictures, but I am hoping that I am not the only one that has a pantry that looks this hideous! LOL That is the downfall of a large pantry I think is there is too much room and the sense of organization gets lost. The girl's returning things "wherever" instead of zones, lol. O.k. brace yourself here is the before pictures!

AAAGGHHH! This is the very things that stress me! Especially being a neat freak!!

So all that cleared out was enough to clutter my kitchen and I can't have that so diving in to the task at hand!

I have shelves on the pantry door as well that needed a redo! ;-) I also took this time to throw away or give away to the guys at Jerry's work all the unhealthy food that had found it's way in over the holidays.

I got my folder out for my notes and organizing (it has a pocket folder I use for my pending to do's, like book orders for the girl's school, numbers I need to call etc.

I then proceeded to make a new inventory list of what is actually remaining in my pantry.
Then I was feeling a bit more relaxed seeing the after!

The top shelf is for extra tea bags, transportable dishes and some appliances, like my bread maker. (However I have another whole closet of appliances, more on that another day ;-)
Then I have a shelf for baking items and pastas.
Next canned food including fruits
Next shelf is for in stock items like ketchup, dressings, mayo, drink mixes, etc.
To the left is a tiered shelf for the animals treats and brushes and toys.
The bottom shelf is for snack items that are accessible to the girls. Nuts, crackers, granola bars, although I am phasing out lots of the carbs/ crackers. Just using up what we have.
The floor is for overflow items as we shop at Costco's and tend to have larger boxes etc. that won't fit on the shelving.

This side is coffee and protein powders on top,
Then cereal and breakfast mixes.
Next is canned and cooking needs, then underneath which you can't see well here is organizers holding oatmeal packets and next to that trash bags for easy access. Then the dog and cat items.

Here is a better shot. The container to the left is dog food and the blue container is for extra lunch and cooler bags and tablecloths.

I don't like being wasteful and I'm always looking for ways to save money, so for me it makes sense to store in the boxes the food comes in to cut down on the expense of extra plastic containers. It is also helpful for building Kathleen's reading skills associating words with pictures on the boxes. :-) I do use baskets to organize also.

Also straightened up the pantry door. Here I keep protein bars, jellos and pudding mixes, in a clear container I have sauce mixes (usually for Jerry's meat items). Also a box of wet wipes for when we are out with the girls I grab them for my purse or to put in a picnic container :-)

I also have these hooks where I hang aprons, dog leashes and our swiffer. On the top I usually have our mini dustpan and dust brush :-)

I also decided to clean out my cleaning supply cabinet!

Lots of that stuff I never use, so I ended up donating a lot of that too. I prefer all natural products as much as possible and have made the switch almost entirely to Shaklee products.

I can't stress enough that the best way to properly organize an area is to clear everything out and give it a good cleaning before putting it away!

This is my bin of cleaning supplies to take from room to room. Really helps when I have to clean upstairs and downstairs in the basement.

Much better!

When keeping the boxes I wanted to mention that I always cut the flaps off for easy access!

By the way if you haven't tried these yet they are really yummy! :-)

I also received some of my pictures for scrap booking, I am a little behind at the moment and I haven't even ordered our Disney pictures yet. :-)

A little flashback to Disney (I still have more to share, lol) The girls had their cartoon portraits done! They turned out really well!

I have also completed two books for review. Both of these books I received from Bethany House Publishers for free and I just provide my honest review. :-)

The first is: A Whisper of Peace by Kim Vogel Sawyer

This book is about Lizzie Dawson who is living on her own in Alaska and meets Clay Selby, a missionary.
The story unfolds about acceptance and differences that Lizzie faces in her life and her relationship with God.
Together they face some challenges and it is interesting to find out whether or not the challenges they face will propel them forward into love or reeling back into different paths in life. Finding out who we really are in life is sometimes one of the hardest things, and when we do it may not always be what we desire.
The book I will say was o.k. It did not grab me and become a must read, can't put down kind of book. Although I enjoy these stories and she is a wonderful author, this just did not completely grip me this time. But all in all it was a good read.

The next book I read was: House of Secrets by: Tracie Peterson

This book was a really good read and was engaging from the start. It is about the main character Bailee Cooper and the secrets that her family has encountered. It is not until later in her life that she learns what happened to her family when she was younger and in the process tries to become closer with her father.  Bailee's sisters and her mother are key points in this book as well and just when you think you have it figured out, there's a twist! This book also has Bailee coming to terms with who God is and by accepting him how that will influence her life and who enters into it. This is a book that truly makes us think about our lives and the secrets that family members sometimes keep, whether they are good or bad is sometimes yet to be determined. I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a good, lightly suspenseful read.

I am also enjoying using my beautiful bookmark for these wonderful books that my Mom gave me for Christmas. Ladies at a local church made them at the holidays. :-)

Just to wrap up I am still getting healthier each day by making new changes in our food and upping the exercise challenges!
I ordered new walking shoes (Asics)

and running/athletic shoes....

Then I gave myself a huge challenge and ordered P90X!!

Today was day 3 and even though I am sore....I love it! I'm always one for a challenge and this routine brings it! Plus I am still taking Zumba on Monday evenings. :-)

Whew are you still with me? What are you working on this week?



Sheila said...

WOW--could you come to NC to help me get organized? It all looks very nice. I'm so OCD that I put labels on my shelves to show "others" where everything is supposed to go. I really need to get my chest freezer in the garage organized--it's a mess. The books sound really interesting--I'll have to look for them. Lovely bookmark. Love the caricatures. Your girls always make me smile. How are you feeling? Hope all is well over that way. Take care.

Annie said...

Some people like SonyaAnn like pics of shirtless men. Me, I like pantry porn. Thanks for the fix. :D

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

Your pantry is beautiful.I don't have a walk-in pantry like that,but we do have plenty of cabinet space that goes unused. This is a great idea for organizing it all. Now my walk-in closet in my bedroom looks really messy. That needs some serious help :) :) LOVE the Disney pics :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Jill, OH I love organization and your pantry redo is fabulous. The girls characture drawings are so cute.
Congrats to you on working out and the new athletic shoes. I started shadow boxing and love it.
Thank you for the book reviews. These sound really good. Love the cross bookmarker from your mom. Very special.

Great post of all you've been up too. Hope February is off to a great start. It sure looks like it.
Blessings, Celestina Marie XO

Lisa B. said...

I've been in re-organizing mode since being laid off also. My pantry is next on the list as well as my office and craft room. How does things get in such disarray during the holidays?

You gave me courage to post my before pic of my pantry. :D

Heather said...

Your newly organized pantry looks great! It must be so nice to open the doors and see everything neatly arranged!

I start Zumba next week. I've never done it before, and I sure hope I can keep up! Is it a good workout? I am so bored with walking, that I thought I might give Zumba a try!

Sweet Tea said...

Great job on the pantry. When I get something newly organized I love to just stop by and keep looking at it. Do you do that? ;-)
I'm still working on eating healthier and being consistent on walking - did my 2 miles again today. "We can do it!"

Mark said...

Is it wrong to be madly in love with your uncluttered pantry?

Heather said...

The pantry looks wonderful!! I have purple asics they are great for running!! I also have the P90x but with my asthma it is no good I do the Jeri Love get ripped videos instead ...Keep it up sounds like you are doing great Love Heather

Katharine said...

Wow, lots of busy going on at your house... awesome pantry clean. I did mine yesterday, and I wish I had taken pictures, it would have made you feel better about yours! Long overdue!
Blessings on your day!

Tara said...

Keep us posted on P90x... Iv'e been doing Chleen extreme for over 2 years now... getting tired of it for sure but I love that it's only 30 minutes and I feel like it keeps me in good shape for such a short workout. Is p90x longer?

Love your new updated pantry. Mine gets like that at Christmastime too!

Love your blog; it keeps me inspired and motivated! have a happy Thursday, tara

McVal said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE your pantry! Of course if I had it, it would look like your before picture for my after picture...

Jill said...

Sheila: I like labels too! But Kathleen likes peeling them from the shelves! LOL Thanks for stopping by!

Annie: Always nice to see new faces here! thanks for visiting!

Heather: My walkin in closet is seriously on my list too especially sharing it with Jerry! LOL! Thanks for stopping by!

Celestina Marie: Thanks for stopping by!I've always enjoyed seeing shadow boxes. We have one from our wedding! :-)

Lisa B! So good to see your smiling face! I'd love to see your pantry before pics! :-)

Both Heathers: Thank you both for stopping by! I LOVE Zumba and it is a wonderful workout! You really burn a lot of calories! Any kind of exercise is a step in the right direction :-)

Sweet tea :-) 2 miles is awesome and eating right is the first step to better health! Good for you!

Mark: No not wrong at all...I am :-) LOL

Katharine: thank you for visiting! Yes you should have taken some before pictures too :-)

Tara: Thank you! I did Chalean extreme too and loved it, but I get bored and like to change things up. I love P90x but it is extreme workouts! All are at least 1 hour and yoga is 90 mins.

McVal: Thank you!! Before having children everything had a place now that has expanded to all over! LOL

Jenny said...

Whoa girlfriend you have been BUSY!!!! The pantry looks great. Good for you. And P90X, you are very brave! I am scared of that one I tell ya.

Camille said...

Dear Jill ~ How GREAT is that??!! I just cleared out my pantry too. Doesn't it feel AMAZING?? I appreciated your honesty and the *before* and *after* photos. Well done my friend. :) As for the exercise routine...way to go!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful job on the pantry and dont feel bad mine is a lil cubby hole but the poor thing still gets all messy lol Happy weekend to you :o)

Julie said...

Good job on the pantry. Wish I had a pantry, it would be so nice. Oh well.
I need to look at that P90X. I need something for nap time since getting to the gym has been impossible and Jillian is not my happy go to person.
Take care Jill and have a blessed weekend!!

Kerri said...

Great job on your pantry! I love when my pantry is all clean and organized....but it doesn't always stay that way! And, I love those granola thins too with the dark chocolate on the bottome! Yum!