Kansas City Kristal

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What is your Dream?

OMG, if you are not living in your dream house, you need to call me! I can't believe the number of STEALS that are out there and as houses join the spring market it is going to drive prices down even further. (Interest rates will be increasing, though!) I have found 3+ car garages, 4+ bedrooms, tricked out basements, hearth room kitchens, granite countertops, stainless appliances, jetted tubs, two person walk-in showers, walk-in pantry, walk-in closets, big bedrooms, hardwood floors, wood privacy fence, acreage, main-level living/laundry, new roofs, new heating/cooling, new plumbing, new electrical, new windows, lots of "green" features, new houses never lived in, lovingly restored storybook houses, swanky condos and fabulous farms all for under $1500 a month. Some well under. Of course, if you want to spend more money, those are out there, too. I just can't believe what is available right now for $100-$200k in KS & MO. If you are a first-time buyer or move-up buyer,
NOW IS THE TIME!  What's your dream?
© KristalJacobs.com

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Recipe Binder

Recipes BEFORE

Stack of stuff I needed to deal with....
This weeks challenge at A Bowl Full of Lemons was to create or improve a recipe binder.  I am not much into the binder for my recipes, as I have a lot of recipe books and a couple of recipe boxes for the recipes that I frequently use.  However, in looking at where I house all of my great culinary inspiration, I noticed I had gotten lazy and had a pile of recipes that needed re-filed as well as some magazine clippings that needed addressed. 
Recipe binders
I already had the above recipe binder with a built-in easel which I like the idea of, but I don't currently utilize it.  So I put some magazine clipping recipes that would fit, as it is smaller than a regular binder.  Then I created a new binder (upcycled) and hole punched a lot of recipes that I printed off from all recipes.com and pulled out of magazines.  I added in my leftover page protectors from the home management binder challenge and made a couple of section dividers with my fancy folders.  I consider myself a "mixologist" and I had a stack of martini recipes that I have printed out which I use for inspiration for my "theme" drinks.  Now they have a nice new home in my recipe binder and their very own section!  You've heard of a dirty martini?  Here is a recipe for a clean one:  1 and 1/2 ounces gin, 3/4 ounce dry vermouth, mix together with ice and strain into glass with olive garnish.  But when I am cleaning, I prefer to drink Kristal Clean Lemonade: 

Make a "small" pitcher of Country Time or Crystal Lite Lemonade, add 1 can Sprite and 1/2 cup (or more, depending on what kind of cleaning you have to do...) of your favorite vodka.  After a pitcher of that, my recipe closet looks like this:
Oh wait, that's what your head feels like if you drink too much, too fast...
                            Warning: You might see these...
Oh, there it is!  The recipe closet, magically cleaned!  

                                 Now THAT was FUN!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 20--Photos!

Finally getting around to posting my Day 20 of the 21 Day Organizing Challenge from A Bowl Full of Lemons.  I have a scrapbooking basement, so here are some pictures of the photos BEFORE:

BEFORE:  Photo Storage
After some re-arranging and straightening:

 The shelves now look like this:
AFTER: Photos
I am going to have to add some cute paper to the front of the Costco boxes because I hate how that looks!
The final day of the 21 day organizing challenge was our choice.  I surely thought that I already blogged about these final two days, but I can't seem to find any drafts or posts...
I had a couple of options I was considering for the final day.  The Launch Pad, which at the time I didn't know it had a name, but that is being covered this week for the weekly challenge at A Bowl Full Of Lemons!  Then I thought about under my kitchen sink, which was a re-visited project because I got SHAKLEE products and had to get the toxic chemicals out of my home!  I covered that in my Groundhog Day AFTER-AFTER Party....so I am going to pick something FUN!  It wasn't fun while I was doing it, because my plan was flawed.  It all started with a broken shoe rack.  Somehow, I got the idea that I could super-glue it back together and make a fantastic ribbon organizer and hang it from the ceiling in the basement.  Ok, maybe my plan was flawed in several ways....Here is some of my ribbon BEFORE:

Some under the stairs....

Some in boxes in a funky trunk in the basement

Organized, but not all in the same place : (

This is the trunk that had a lot of ribbon in it.  Now it has my tissue paper and gift bags and boxes and was going to be under my ribbon and wrapping paper holder hanging from the ceiling....but....
After MUCH frustration, a pulled muscle, a few tears and not talking very nice to my husband....I gave up on trying to hang the dang thing and just set it up in the laundry room for now.
I kept the red ribbon together on the tension rod under the stairs, just a few feet from this.  I do have plans to hang this later.  I think I have devised a plan that will work!  But for now, this will have to do.
Which means, I DID complete the 21 Day Organizational Challenge!  DID YOU?

The Launch Pad!

I created one of these the other day, out of necessity, without really realizing what it was.  A launch pad!  My husband has started a new job with the railroad and he has a LOT of equipment: heavy coat, hats, lantern, lunch sack, backpack, radio and heavy duty boots (with spikes right now, yikes!) that he needed to take off and put on and remember to take with him as he leaves for work.  There is not a lot of room in our entryway, so I made use of an over-the-door hook/hanger and it has been working great!   How nice that a simple hook could make such a difference!
This has been great for the work week and then if people are coming over, we can move all this stuff to the hooks by the garage.  I made room for his boots in the bottom of the coat closet so he can take them off in the entry and get them out of the way.  I love the launch pad solution!

Home Management Binder

I am going to TRY to keep this short and sweet. My project list is piling up.  Yours, too?  I found and joined FLYLADY on Jan 11th, so I had a binder started for my "Command Center," but I was using an ugly flimsy binder I had re-purposed and was wanting to get something cute.  I found this at Wal-Mart and it is Made in the USA!  Had to get the cute matching notebook, too!  I might like aqua and green...

I haven't found a good pocket yet, but I have my "supplies" housed in my command center, so this plastic sleeve is working right now for my index tabs.  My husband is so cute, he loves the command center and I lol when he mentions it. 
I finally picked a word for this year, "BELIEVE" and I believe I can keep this command center cleaned up!  (AND ALL of my areas organized!)  This area was originally my worst hot spot because the refrigerator blocks the visual clutter until you are all the way in the kitchen...so I BELIEVE organizing this area and making it our "command center" will help us keep it organized!  I have added a few file folders since I made the command center.  I added a folder for the city we live in with the trash/recycle schedule, proposed changes to our back yard/easement and the city newsletters, visitors info, things we want to do around our city, local restaurants and stores to try, etc.  I also added a TRAVEL folder to catch all the brochures and notes that I've taken about places I'd like to visit.  Also a FARM folder, as Matt and I have been looking at acreage again and are dreaming about moving to the country!  This currently contains the Burgess catalog that came in the mail the other day and my garden log as well as farms we are considering, lists of potential locations, etc.  I BELIEVE 2011 is going to be an awesome year and I've got the Home Management Binder to plan it, track it, organize it, and make all of our dreams come true, right?!?!?!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

21 Day Organization Challenge AFTER--AFTER Party!

Did you think that cleaning out my Master Closet had killed me?  Almost.  But I am a LITTLE tougher than that.  I have been doing so much, but not accomplishing enough.  Know where I am coming from?  I've been trying to get to my photo organization and the final day of the 21 day challenge posted (which has been done for a while...) so really it is just the photo organization that has been holding me up.  I don't know why--maybe because Toni gave us until the end of the month?  Procrastinator!  Then I realized, Holy Cow, it's almost Groundhog Day and I am supposed to host my first linky party (I guess that's what it is called?)
It's the 21 Day Organizational Challenge
Re-Cap/Update/After--After Party and you are ALL cordially invited! 
You can join this party by posting your AFTER picture and then your AFTER-AFTER picture of one, or any, or all of the 21 challenges that you completed.  I came up with this idea because I noticed there were a few areas that I was still tweaking after living with the new organization for a while....ok, really there were projects I was doing and wanted to SHOW OFF!  Also, I knew I needed some accountability and figured I wasn't alone.  So, it's been a month since the first day of the challenge, how are you doing?  How is your organization holding up?  What cool tweaking and projects have you done that you want to share with us?  What have you learned along the way?  Inquiring and organized minds want to know!  (Organized Minds, what a great name for a band, or a blog, hmmmm.....)
So, here's the current state of my affairs:
Day 1: Junk Drawer
                                          Junk Drawer-AFTER

                                          Junk Drawer AFTER-AFTER
Switched the BBQ tools from the middle to the side and put non-slip grip under the white basket.

                                Junk Drawer BEFORE....
                                we've come a long way, baby!

So, just when I think I am getting this blogging thing down, my computer goes haywire and I can't add the pictures to my blog and the spacing gets all messed up....so had to end my post and start over, sorry!

 Here we go with Day 2, The Computer Desk:
                                          The Computer Desk AFTER
                                          The Computer Desk AFTER--AFTER

We got a new wireless keyboard and mouse.  Lovin' The Wave from Logitech.

New hardware for the desk my husband made in high school.  Would never have thought to do this until the 21 Day Challenge from A Bowl Full of Lemons.

Day 3 was the Tupperware Cabinet:
 Tupperware AFTER
 Tupperware AFTER--AFTER, can you spot the differences?  This one seems to be holding up....

It pretty much looked the same before, though.

Day 4, The Linen Closet
Linen Closet--AFTER
Linen Closet--AFTER--AFTER

I got these great "Halloween" storage bins on clearance to put in the bottom of the linen closet to tame the dirty laundry.  

I also washed some laundry, so I had clean towels to fill the empty spots I had made for them in my organizing/consolidating of the linen closet.  I can't bear to show you how this looked BEFORE, so I won't.

Day 5 was Under the Kitchen Sink
Under the Kitchen Sink--AFTER
This was actually after I tweaked the After pic that I showed in the challenge.  I love the green basket for my towels and rags.  Everything is in a good place for what I use and getting to it.....then I got paranoid about all the chemicals in my HOME and I joined Shaklee!  So I had to clean out all these toxic chemicals....
And replaced all of these chemicals with just these few, good-for-the-earth products!

Under my Kitchen Sink looks better than ever, now!  I feel GREAT about it, too!
The products are AWESOME and so affordable and good for our planet and smell yummy....there has been no down side.  I hope you will try some in your HOME, too!  I'll be using up the Cascade and the wet floor wipes and then exclusively using the Shaklee Basic H2 on my floors, it's AMAZING!  No haze or foot prints right after you clean.

Day 6 was Dresser Drawers
I can't remember if I ever showed my husbands drawers, but he still has one completely empty drawer and matched white sock drawer!  The other ones are in good shape and my drawers are also in the same condition since day 6....except I was able to match up a few more socks since I have been tackling the laundry since Day 10!

Day 7 was The Pantry
So, I added this boring striped contact paper to my pantry and got this challenge all done and then I saw the prettiest pantry EVER at House of Smiths, and I HAD TO DO SOMETHING!  I hated the dark brown shelves and our pantry is so dark anyway.  I had to piece together the bottom shelf contact paper because I ran out, I just wasn't happy with it.  I shopped around for some solution to a pretty pattern on the background/walls.  I knew I didn't want to take the time or expense to do what my inspiration pantry owner had done, so the hunt for the green contact paper with the white scroll design began. Yes, like Toni's.  
Pantry AFTER, but not happy yet....

Yuck, dark brown shelves : (  Organized, but ugly.
After inspiration, it looks like this!

It's hard to see, but I put up a cute wood trim on the shelves.  I also added 2 tap lights which helps a lot.  Total cost of these items: $20.00 (wood trim, primer, paint, wire nails, liquid nails, 3 tap lights) and then about $4 worth of contact paper and less than $10 on containers and boxes.  I put the 3rd tap light in our DVD/Wine fridge cabinet in our entertainment armoire which was very dark.  Love the solutions!

This is definitely my favorite transformation.  So thankful for all of the inspiration and great ideas throughout the 21 Day Organizational Challenge!

Please link up and check back soon because this AFTER--AFTER Party continues on Wednesday!  I'd love to see your AFTER and AFTER--AFTER pics, hear about what you learned, your favorite challenge, anything you are struggling with, how it has affected you, your family, your roommate(s) and what organizational challenge YOU need to (and ARE going to) tackle next.

Um, we got about 16 inches of snow Tuesday, so I'm guessing Phil is gonna see his shadow.  Happy Groundhog Day, anyway!
Snowfall by 3:45pm Tuesday afternoon.

Snow dogs!

Current state of affairs at 1 am on 2/2/11
Glad I don't have to travel anywhere.  Hope everyone who had to venture out is safe and sound.