New Domain!

Clutterfans, we’ve recently made the transition to blogging at Clutterhome.com.  If you are a current subscriber, I would be thrilled if you would please take a moment to head to our new site and update your blog subscription.  On the new site, you can also follow us on Google Friend Connect as well as Twitter.

Thank you!

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Our ClutterCloset was Featured!

I am tickled pink that Clutterhome was featured on Chocolate Drool and Kisses this week!

Chocolate Drool and Kisses

You may remember this debacle.

And our subsequent ClutterCloset Sheet Organization, inspired by Ms. Martha Stewart.

Thank you, Crystal, for the feature!  Be sure to pop over and give her a visit!

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Filed under Clutterhome Family, ClutterTips

Freezer Cooking: Storing Soup

It’s no secret.  We’re a teensy bit lazy here at Clutterhome.  I mean, it’s not like we live in a pig pen or anything.  But, I will gladly skip cooking in favor of hitting up one of our favorite local restaurants.

Our bank account likes it better when we cook at home, though.

We try and make the cooking process as pain free as possible, and LOVE quick easy recipes.  Freezer cooking allows us to cook once and feed ourselves 4 or 5 additional meals down the road.  As a military spouse who often finds myself alone, this method also helps me make cheap meals for one person without having to cut recipes down to smaller sizes.  Hooray!  Lazy loophole!

And it makes for a happy Erika because it means less dishes!

Today I made a big ol’ pot of “X Soup.”  It’s a tweaked and personalized-to-our-tastes version of Southern Plate’s Taco Soup.  There’s a whole story behind why we call it “X Soup,” but the short version is that it’s named after my future-sister-in-law, Christina, whom I affectionately refer to as X-tina, or “X” for short.

Soups and chilis, once prepared, can be frozen for up to 4 months.  The easiest way I’ve found is to separate enough for one meal and seal it in a Ziploc bag.  For my two person family, that’s about 3 cups.

For safety purposes, make sure you label the bag with the contents and the date prepared!  You don’t want a bunch of unknown soup cluttering up your freezer.  Trust me, you won’t be brave enough to eat it.

I like to take multiple bags, lay them flat in the freezer, and after they freeze I stand them upright so they take up less room.

They defrost quickly, but I usually remove it from the freezer the night before I plan on eating some good ol’ X Soup.  I let it thaw in the ClutterFridge and then reheat it for dinner!  It’s yummy with cornbread (which also freezes well!).

In case you’ve lost track, the countdown to ClutterBaby is roughly 2.5 months!  We’re going to be stocking our freezer with ready made meals between now and then, we’ll be bringing you more freezer cooking tips and recipe suggestions that work well for other lazy efficient people like us.

I know Clutterhubs STILL doesn't see it, but Clutterbaby looks like Skeletor to me.

See where we’ve linked up today!

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Clutterhome Excitement!

We’re so excited!  We checked our mail today and received a postcard from GERMANY sent by Michelle over at Hot Pink Combat Boots.  Be sure to stop by and visit her blog . . . it’s one of my favorites and one that I regularly check for exciting updates.

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DIY: Mason Jar Storage

I have an odd fascination with Mason jars.   I use them to store things like rice, chocolate chips, and dry pasta and keep them out on display in my kitchen.  I just think they’re real purdy, that’s all.  I came across this on Pinterest, originally from Weeping Cherries, and I was immediately struck with Mason jar envy.

The above Mason jar storage rack was made from wall molding, mason jars, and hose clamps.  

Sounds easy enough, right? . . . but is it easy enough to be Erika proof?  Since I have a tendency to ruin every DIY attempt, I was cautious but decided it was worth the $15 risk.  After a trip to my local hardware store, I came home armed with 4 hose clamps and a piece of wood to mount everything to.  Oh, and this crazy Japanese paint because it’s all I have access to since I live in Japan and all.

Interestingly enough, my hose clamps had MADE IN THE USA stamped on the side.  I wouldn’t think that was interesting, except the packaging looked like this:


So I guess if you want products made in China, head to the USA.  If you want products made in the USA then you should do your shopping at Japanese hardware stores.

I had taken several pictures of every step, because I know y’all love seeing pictures of me spray painting, measuring, and nailing.  However, we had a little ClutterCamera incident this evening.

Can you spot the difference between the two people in these images below?

I’ll give you a hint . . . there is no difference!  They’re both me!  I have really bad luck around anything that involves computers and always break them, or catch them on fire, or just throw them across the room because I hate them and can’t work them.  In retrospect, maybe I should have studied something practical that I could use in my everyday life.  Like napping (though I did a whole lot of that in college, too).

So, long story short, I need a new camera memory card and I don’t have step-by-step pictures.  Basically, I spray painted my wood frame, nailed the hose clamps onto the board, added the Mason jars, and then decided it looked funny and added a picture frame for good measure.  I’ll eventually replace the picture with something adorable, like maybe a self-portrait or an awesome picture of the Clutterdogs.  For now, it has random bathroom clutter in it (cotton balls, Q-Tips, and wash cloths) but eventually it’s going in our nursery to hold miscellaneous baby thingumabobs.

Don’t forget to check out where we’re linked up!

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Wordless Wednesday: My Friend’s Son

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DIY Nautical Nursery: Storage Bucket

I found an ugly green flower pot in the storage shed when we moved into our home last summer.  It’s been sitting there for the better part of a year because I can’t grow things.  That would require way too much effort on my part.

Well, I’m growing a baby.  But that doesn’t count.  It’s still on autopilot at this point.

Clutterdogs just love to weasel their way into photos every now and then.  They’re so nosey.

I decided to give it two coats of blue spray paint so that it would better match our DIY Nautical Nursery decor.  My paint is blue and dries kind of glossy.  I wish I could give better details.  In case it’s not obvious, I am not getting paid to endorse this spray paint.  I can’t even read the can.

Your guess is as good as mine.

It took two coats for it too look kind of even (and “kind of” is good enough for Clutterhome!).  Little bugs kept crawling into the wet paint, which made me sad.  I had to pluck one fellow off with tweezers after everything was dry.

Our nursery is actually a Steamboat Willie theme that we’re accenting with nautical flair.  This particular item is pretty Mickey-rific, but you could customize it with any kind of image you prefer.  I simply printed it on computer paper and cut it out.

The ModPodged it to my flower pot.

I stuck on some Scrabble letters for good measure, but I haven’t decided if they’re going to stay or I’m going to pick them off.

While everything was drying, I used some fabric leftover from our no-sew nautical curtains and created a fabric tube.  I didn’t sew it; I cheated and used iron-on no-sew hem tape.  Same thing, but more efficient lazier and uncrafty.

I used this as a lining for my “storage bucket.”  What do you think?  I’m not loving how the Scrabble personalization turned out, so I might remove the pieces and use them elsewhere in our Nautical Nursery.

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Filed under Crafts for the Uncrafty, DIY

ClutterCloset Organization: Sheet Storage

To recap, here is our disaster starting point:

This is probably hard to believe, but I know how to fold fitted sheets.  Thank you, military school (I learned by watching YouTube videos over and over.  Yes, I just admitted that).  I just choose not to do it properly most of the time.  But as you can see, there actually are some decently folded sheets, fitted and flat, lurking in the depths of our linen closet.  Squint your eyes and look really closely . . . I promise they’re there.  (Okay, not really, but it was worth a shot).

I saw this amazing tip online this morning.  Miss Martha herself suggests storing sheet sets inside one of the pillowcases.  Why didn’t I think of that?

Of course mine don’t look that pretty, but it’s really convenient!  Especially if you’re like me and own about 10 different kinds of mis-matched sheet sets.  Typically my pillow cases don’t match my sheets because, in the big scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter.  But storing everything together in the linen closet is going to streamline my sheet changing process in ways you can’t imagine!  I won’t have to spend 10 minutes searching for pillow cases anymore!

Ok, so my sheets aren’t as pretty as Martha’s.  That’s okay.  And in doing this I realized that I only have 3 sets of sheets that actually have matching pillowcases.  That’s okay, too.  This is a great start to reorganizing the ClutterCloset, and this is still a great tip that I wholeheartedly endorse.

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ClutterCloset Organization

Yeah, okay.  We’re not organized here at Clutterhome.  Life goes on.  But sometimes, the disorganization can be scary.  Fear inducing.  Frightening.

My little “paper cha$er“, Clutterhubs, gets up around 4:30am to get ready to head off to work.  After he left this morning, I decided I was going to change the sheets on the bed before I haphazardly tossed the comforter on top made it.

That’s when the attack happened.

It looks like an ordinary closet, but don’t let that fool you.

Here is a dramatic recreation of events.

I narrowly escaped injury.  I decided (yes, at 5:30am) that I will organize the closet today.  Here’s a before shot.

I bought this amazing iron caddy on sale a few weeks ago, and let me tell you it made a huge difference.  No more iron attacks!

Stay tuned for updates and ClutterTips on closet organization.  That probably sounds counter-intuitive, taking organization tips from the Queen of Clutter herself.  However, if there’s a tip that I’m implementing then you know it’s gotta be good.

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Foodie Friday: Buffalo Chicken Biscuits

I love these bad boys.

I’m not crazy about the price, and the fact that they go so quickly here at Clutterhome.  Let’s just say we love all kinds of bready goodness and it never lasts long.

They were also sold out at the grocery store today, so I figured it was a good chance for me to try and <gasp> make my own.  I know, I know.  Erika?  Cooking something when she could just BUY it?  But it was so easy!

Here are the “ingredients.”  Plain chicken (left over, frozen, canned, whatever!) would work just fine!  

I know that most normal people like bleu cheese with wings, so you could throw that in, too.  I don’t like it, so I just went with mozzarella.

Step 1) Flatten out a biscuit like a pancake.  I just used my hands.

Step 2)  Add some chicken, cheese, Texas Pete, and whatever else your little heart desires.  This is very customizable.

Step 3)  Roll it up like a dumpling.  Make sure you tuck in all of that yummy filling and pinch it closed as best you can.  But if some leaks out, the world won’t end.  I promise.

Step 4)  Place the dumplings crease-side down on a greased baking sheet and pop them in  a pre-heated over.  Bake according to the biscuit directions.

That’s it!  I had 2 leftover biscuits so I made myself a similar desert, but filled it with peanut butter and jelly.  The warm, melty PB&J was so delicious.  I might make them like that next time!

So easy!  Do you have any quick and easy canned biscuit recipes?

Please visit our Link Parties Page to find out everywhere this recipe is linked to, including Foodie Wednesday with Organized Chaos!

 

 

 

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