Favorite Pinterest Pins Tested in Our Home

The great thing about Pinterest is how it motivates.  Motivation to try a new recipe or follow a tip.  These are some of my favorite pins from the past few months if you want to check em out.

Perfect Salmon by Pioneer Woman – Perfect.  Truth.

Triangular Folded Grocery Sacks – Ummm, I HATE the grocery sack dilema.  I hate having a bunch of scrunched up grocery sacks and I love this tip.  On the surface, it seems a little over the top.  But oh it made my heart happy to see all my triangular grocery sacks neatly tucked inside the box I store them in.  And I have bought reusable grocery bags but without fail, I forget them.  That is something I’m working on.  For now, I have a neat way to store the plastic sacks and reuse them.  And it is the perfect job for the kids while I put away groceries.

triangular-folded-grocery-bags

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken – Delish!  Everyone loved this one.  I added the dried red pepper flakes to my plate separately.  It is a keeper!

Sugar Cookie Bars – Oh my word, I love these and have made them several times!!  I made them recently when I got together with friends.  They are a favorite.  Only thing I change on these is I sub in almond extract instead of vanilla extract for the frosting.  These taste very much like Eileen’s Colossal Cookies but better.

 

Sprinkle-Cake

Sprinkle Birthday Cake – A few months ago, we celebrated Eva’s 3rd Birthday.  I wish I would have loaded up her cake more with the sprinkles but this was a cute and easy idea.

And if you want to follow me on Pinterest, you can here.  Do you have any favorite pins you care to share?  I’d love to know what gems you’ve found recently!

 

Julie-Signature

Purging Yet Again

Exciting things have been going on.

We are picking up our used Class A tomorrow! We are itching to get started on it and make some pretty sweet updates.

Since our camper is listed and we have a potential buyer coming to see it soon, I decided to go through the camper to de-clutter and purge.

Not only do we want the camper to be “show ready,” which eerily feels like we’re selling a piece of real estate again. But we also NEED to downsize so we can fit into the smaller living space of the Class A.

It is amazing, shockingly amazing how much we accumulate. Even after we went from 1800 square feet to 300 square feet, we still have things we do not need. Things accumulate. I think it’s just a fact of life.

Here is my loot of junk after living in the camper for 4 months.

Purging

Really it’s not junk, just not needed or necessary. Ok, maybe it is junk.

But this is what I came up with after going through 90% of our camper. I still need to go through the underneath storage and the outdoor kitchen but can you believe it?? I can’t, but there it is.

And the great thing is it took me 3 hours to go through every single cabinet, drawer, storage tub, & basket. 3 hours.

In our regular house, it took me weeks (which I think is understandable given the space and amount of stuff). So I’m making it a goal to go through our belongings once a month and purge. Knowing that it only takes 3 hours makes it that much more doable.

If we lived in a normal house, I’d set the goal of going through one or two rooms once a month. I think that’s a reasonable goal and would keep the clutter and unnecessary away. Maybe even daily de-cluttering one area for 30 minutes a day would be work for some, (kinda like Fly Lady).

I prefer the once a month thing because, I don’t know about you, but once I start deep cleaning or clearing junk out I just want to do it all. I hate stopping in the middle of a job.

Anyway, that’s where we’re at and some of what we’ve been up to.

Julie-Signature

 

A Better Way to Label ~ Chalkboard Spray Paint

Remember my cheap organizing containers that I repurposed from cashew containers I bought at Sam’s?

Well I never did end up putting those printable labels on them.  I really wondered how durable it would be to have a paper label mod podged on there.  And I wanted to be able to change out the contents if necessary without reprinting and gluing labels.

I honestly probably spent waaaay too much time thinking about how it would work best.

I just love Pinterest for situations like this.  A pin on there showed how someone had spray painted some canning labels with chalkboard paint and written what the contents were with chalk.

It was the perfect solution.

Wanting to avoid the mess of actual chalk, I opted for a chalk pen.  I couldn’t find one locally so I ordered this chalk pen set from Amazon, 4-Piece Bistro Chalk Marker Set.

The spray paint I bought was your standard, Krylon Black Chalkboard Spray Paint.

Now the labels were the best part.  I was shopping at Dollar Tree, (that store has some great stuff).  I came across these wall decals…wall-decals-

 

There are actually 24 circles in the pack and the whole pack was $1!

I simply spray painted the decals and let them dry for about 20 minutes.

The chalk pens were great to work with, but I’m thinking smaller-tipped ones like the,1mm White Chalk Pen Marker would work better for thinner writing.

So here is the end result…

 

Chalkboard-Paint-Canister-Labels-2

It worked beautifully and I couldn’t be more pleased with how they turned out.  The writing does not rub off when you touch it, (after it dries of course).

To wipe the writing off, you just need a wet paper towel.  I did read the reviews and some people said you needed to use nail polish remover but I didn’t find that to be the case.

It seems like the fads go in waves on Pinterest.  For instance, when I first got on there it was all about Mason Canning Jars, then it went to burlap, and then chalkboard paint and I think I repinned a lot of those ideas.

So are you inspired by Pinterest too?

 

My Perfectly Compact Tea Storage Solution

I really love tea.  Mark and I are mostly coffee drinkers but tea has a special place with me nonetheless.

Tea can be pretty sloppy in an RV.  Boxes that are disorganized and squashed in a drawer.  I purged some of the tea I had in our house but I still had to figure out a way to contain the tea.

I’d been eyeing these tea storage boxes for a little while….but um…call me a cheapskate…I couldn’t swallow the pill of spending $20 for one.

I found a similar one at The Container Store for $13, that was better.  (so silly that a few bucks bothered me so much)  But I didn’t want to pay shipping.

But when I was shopping in Hobby Lobby the other day, I spotted this gem.  Rustic, earthy, small.  Perfect. $3.  It was originally $6 but 50% off at the time.

I’d estimate that 40 or so tea bags will fit in there.  I love that it has a lid and it can be closed.  It is the perfect size for a standard tea bag.

On a side note…I simply love this Good Earth Sweet & Spicy tea right now.  It’s perfect for the chilly weather we’ve been having.

Anyway, I still have tea to contend with.  Like my Celestial Seasoning Teas that are not individually wrapped and bulk Rooibos Chai Tea from Savvy Tea & Herbs that is amazingly delicious.

But I’m waaaay happier with my tea storage for the camper.

 

Camper Tour – Kitchen

This is one area of the camper that I wish was larger.  Who doesn’t want a larger kitchen though right?

I do have to say, as far as camper kitchens go, it’s pretty big!

I admit, after being here for 3 weeks, it’s getting better.

Kitchen View

Microwave/Refrigerator/Storage

Here is the side view…

The over cabinet storage is handy.  We have baskets above the microwave for vitamins, snack items, and bread, plus my spice rack is mounted.

Stove/Oven Area

Here is the stove top…pretty standard to RVs.  In the back is a little rack that I put spice overflow.  I use to put sauces but AFTER ONE NEARLY EXPLODED, I moved the sauces to a cabinet. (it get’s hot back there!)

This is obviously the oven.  I store some of my larger pans and stoneware here.  Our oven is pretty nice as far as RV ovens go, (you can adjust it more which I’ll go into later).

Cabinets

Here is where we moved our sauces…love lazy susans for easy access.  We still have organizing to do…but we’re getting there.

Here are the drawers that Mark made the built in organizer for.

Here is the upper corner shelf.  It’s hard to get back there in the corner, so we got another lazy susan.

This is the bottom shelf of the corner cabinet.  We really crammed a lot in there with racks and wire shelves.

This cabinet is a mess and I’m still trying to figure out how to organize it.

I do have 4 more drawers I forgot to take a picture of.  I store my glass snap containers, tin foil, saran wrap, baggies in one.  Pan lids, potatoes, pot holders in another.  Coffee, coffee grinder, aprons, in another.  And hand mixer, kitchen towels and wash rags in the last one.

Pantry

Upper pantry view…lots going on in here!  On the top shelf, my re-purposed containers with our bulk goods.  Middle has a wire organizer for our cutting boards, collapsable colander, pans.  And the bottom shelf has a collapsable salad spinner, mini loaf pans, & lid organizer.

Lower part of pantry.  I simply love my OXO Storage!

Side Wall

Mark mounted hooks on the wall for my pots and pans.

Under Bench Storage

I had to keep my lefse griddle and I use it for all sorts of meals: pancakes, french toast, quesadillas, and I’ll hopefully be making lefse this winter.  And I love my Salad Master chopper….they’re both big and bulky but I had the space to store them.

So there you have it.  A tour of the kitchen area.

We have a few projects to get the space more organized but I figured if I waited until it was all just right, I’d never get a post up.

If you all have ideas or tips to organize some areas, I welcome them!  I’ve sorta run out of steam with organizing at this point.  Still I’m very happy with where we are in the organization department.

 

 

Camper Tour – Kid’s Bunk Room

When we were shopping around for a RV, we were specifically concerned about one area.

The Kid’s Room

Really I was concerned about 2 areas.  But the kid’s bunk room became the most important area in our hunt.

Hey ya’ll we got 4 kids you know!  *smile*

Actually, I know MANY families RV with more kids than we have, but still, we really wanted them to have a nice space.

Maybe it had something to do with RVing in South Dakota during freezing winters.  Call us crazy but we really wanted a bigger space for them to stretch out in.

In the end, we chose the Sandpiper 365 SAQ.

The Bunks

There are 4 bunks, two are twin and two are full size.  For all you non-RVers, that is camper size.  Which really is a smaller odd size.

The boy’s side has a twin on top, and a full on bottom.

Underneath is a nifty storage area that had a trundle mattress stored in when it came from the factory.  We put that in the storage unit because we didn’t need it.   We replaced the mattress with 4 of those flat plastic storage boxes.

This underbed storage comes in HANDY!

We use 1 for legos and duplos, 2 for puzzles & games, & 1 for crafty things.

This is the boy’s side, Z doesn’t need his bunk since he’s still in his pack n play

The girls side has a full on top and a twin on the bottom, there is not storage under the bottom bunk because that area is used as part of the outdoor kitchen.  That bottom bunk also can be locked up to allow for extra playing space.

Back wall with storage

Hanging Storage

We love our hanging storage!  So much so, that you get to see the messy insides.

The Boys

The Girls

I’m very happy with it though, in spite of the disorganization.

For the back wall…on the bottom shelf, we put a bunch of books and the two outer net areas are for toys.

Now our BIG question!   We could really use your help and ideas.  We are NOT putting a TV in the kid’s bunk room because we are not big fans of the TV anyway.  So what would you do with this area above??

It is narrow and big enough to fit a 32″ TV.  Any ideas?

We also mounted hooks on the wall leading into the bunk room for the kids coats, one for each child.

The Bathroom

Lastly the kid’s bunk room has a bathroom.  It’s not a huge one, and we’ve hardly used it because of Z napping and not wanting to disturb him.  I do think we’ll use it more in the summertime since it leads outside.

I store our cleaning supplies on the shelf on top. It works well and is out of the way.

Truthfully, if I could, I’d trade out that bathroom for more kitchen space.  BUT that’s not an option.  I really think after being in here for a while, I’d be able to be on the design team for Forest River.

So far they aren’t calling me to find out my opinion though.  A girl can dream.

Anyway, that’s the kid’s bunkhouse of our 365 SAQ Sandpiper.  I hope to get more areas up for “viewing” in the near future.

In order to do so, I need to get over the fact that my cabinets do NOT look neat and they are not perfectly organized. I keep reminding myself that this is a process that we’ll improve on as we go.

So there you have it.  Any ideas on the TV area?  For real.

 

DIY Built-In Drawer Organizers

I have a problem with Pinterest.

I *heart* Pinterest.

In fact, I think my Pinterest organization board is preeeety impressive.

Anyway, I’ve been eye-ballin’ this idea for a few weeks.  Truth be told, I hounded Mark.  I think at one point he confessed his pure and complete hatred for Pinterest.

Needless to say, Mark wasn’t having it with my drawer organization wishes.  I sorta got over it and decided to NOT remind Mark to mod the drawers for the 1,283rd time.

As luck would have it, the utinsel organizer from our house was about 3 mm too big for our camper drawers!!!  Yes!

Mark even looked at buying a new organizer but couldn’t find anything that would work.  So you know what that means!!  I gots me some built-in drawer dividers!

Problem was, we couldn’t find the exact dentil molding that the DIY called for so we opted for a bigger design with fewer notches (and less ability to space them).  This is what Mark used to make our drawer dividers.

Dentil-Drawer-Dividers-Supplies

Drawer Organization DIY

So here’s how Mark modified 2 of our kitchen drawers.

Supplies

  • Locktite Power Grab glue
  • 2 8-foot dentil trim
  • 2 6-inch wide X 24-inch long wood planks (1/8″ width) (our large utensil drawer was deeper so we got the wider planks)
  • 2 4-inch height X 48-inch long wood planks (1/8″ width)

Instructions

Maybe it’s self explanatory, but cut the dentil trim to the length of the drawer.  Make sure you have your notches exactly lined up and spacing correct or you have trim in the drawer that you will not be able to slide your divider drawers into.

Attach your cut dentil trim pieces to the inside of the drawer with the Locktite Power Grab and hold for several seconds.  Attach any remaining dividers and glue with dentil, once again, ensuring that your have your notches lined up.

Cut planks the necessary length to finish the dividers and slid them into the appropriate notches.

The molding we purchased had a thicker edge on one length and is thinner and more tapered on the other edge.  Here is a close up…

Dentil-Edge-Close-Up

Tips

When Mark attached the molding, he glued it with the thinner edge down toward the bottom of the drawer.  By doing so, it created a lip which the knives would slide under.  This made getting knives out a little annoying and cumbersome so Mark put some caulking around the affected edges of that one cubby hole as you can see below on the left.

Drawer-with-caulking

He also put several strips in the draw to help secure the boards, (they were a little wiggly and he had enough molding to do so.

Mark did 2 drawers.  We were able to go from this…

Untensil-Drawer-Before dentil-drawer-organizer

To this…

Organized-Silverware-Drawer Organized-Dentil-Drawer Drawer-After-Dentil-Molding Untensil-Drawer-with-Dividers

Conclusion

Needless to say, I’m VERY happy with it!  The dividers are exactly as they need to be as far as spacing, but with this molding there are less options to reconfigure.

By doing this quick mod, I was able to use the most of the space in my utensil drawers and get rid of my utinsel jar that use to sit on my countertop.  Less wasted space.

The Cost

For 2 drawers, about $38 (Lowes….you really need to lower your prices!).

So, not nearly as cost-effective as I had hoped it would be.  BUT it was 2 drawers and he did reinforce the dentil strips with several pieces. AND given the time-crunch we weren’t able to price-compare.

In summary, I’d say my man pretty well rocks!