Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chocolate and Organization

Ikea jars...LOVE these!! Josh and I each have one with cereal and a scoop. It makes breakfast easier, since our pantry is in our laundry room. The bowls, spoons and milk are all pretty much right there. And, they just look cute:)
M's "In-Box"---This sits outside her bedroom door and is a great catch-all for things that go in her room to be put away later. I usually put things in there while she's sleeping.
My "Out-Box"---my new trick for not forgetting everything
My "In-Box"---a nice huge Pottery Barn tub that conceals all of the paperwork, mail, etc., until I'm ready to sort through it.

Meal Planning
Menu Calendar
Monthly Grocery List

One of my New Year's goals was to be more organized. I have found a few new tricks for myself that seem to work much better! I am in love with those wonderful collapsible storage totes in a great array of colors from Target. They are cheap and match every room of my house! They are perfect for toys and I have one that makes a great "out-box". I keep it by the laundry room door, so I don't forget to leave the house with something. I've always been a label freak, so they get their own labels, of course.

Another goal I made in January was to eat at home more often/cook more. My new system of planning a month in advance, instead of a week or not at all, has worked really well. Towards the end of the month I go through my calendar and see when we'll be home to eat, etc. and then make a menu calendar for the month on my computer. I set aside an hour or two and go through all of my recipes and try to get a wide-variety of meals for each week and I typically stick to one type of meat each week, since there are only two of us. That seems to help with the budget. The other thing I do is make a master grocery list for the month. Once I have my menu calendar set, I write out all of the weekly/recurring things that I buy (bread, milk, eggs, etc.) and then I go week by week and write out everything that will need to be purchased for the meals for that week (pictured above). This helps me jot out a quick grocery list each weekend and then I go to the store on Sunday night, when it is completely empty and quiet! This really doesn't take too long and has helped with budgeting and eating at home, because I have everything completely scheduled out.

As I mentioned in my previous post, my thoughtful hubby got me cooking lessons as part of my b-day!! We were able to go last-minute on Tuesday and it was SOOO fun!!! We went to Kam's Kookery and had a HUGE feast of chocolate!!!! We got to try our hands at making chocolate crepes, truffles, etc and we ate full-sized portions of everything that Kam made! We had chocolate truffles rolled in toffee, chocolate crepes filled with chocolate mousse and topped with homemade caramel and whipped cream, flourless chocolate torte with raspberry sauce and whipped cream, molten chocolate cakes with strawberries and whipped cream, and pots de creme with whipped cream! WOW! I am a huge chocolate junkie, but I don't think I've ever consumed that much in a 3 hour period in my entire life! It was all incredible! Everything had butter, eggs, cream and DARK CHOCOLATE! This was definitely a wonderful gift! Thanks, Mom, for keeping M on a moments notice so Josh and I could enjoy this evening together! If you ever want to go for a fun date or girls night and have cooking demonstrations and EAT, this is for you!! Visit for her calendar of events. On a side-note, I was SO sad that I forgot my camera!!! So, I didn't get any pics of the fun night or the delicious and beautiful food...bummer!



sara's art house said...

All of your little bins are so cute!

Holly said...

I have done "menus for a couple of weeks now and have been able to stretch what was in the freezer and pantry for almost two extra weeks! That has really helped the budget!

Love the out basket!

AM said...

Love, love, love it! :) I have been working on more meal planning too this month! I will have to check out the cooking classes, sounds like fun!

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE to say that you got the organizing talent from your MOM, but I could NOT honestly say that!! Very impressive, Aubs!!

Love YOU!! MOM

Brenna said...

Can you please come to my house and help me? lol!! Hope everythings going ok with your little one!!! -Brenna