12 Ways to Make Your Bedroom An Oasis

12 Ways to Make Your Bedroom An Oasis (2)

 

Aw, the bedroom, a place where we can relax and unwind, right?  I love a bedroom with no clutter and that looks like a relaxing space so I can escape from my day to where I can relax, and do whatever I want.  Yup, that’s a bedroom for me.

If your bedroom isn’t like that at the moment, here are 12 ways to make your bedroom an oasis:

  • Your first task is to clear clutter in your room.  It is the most important task.  Anything that may be on the floor, on your nightstand, your chair, your bed, or your dresser needs to find a home. Then, keep all surfaces clear all the time. Get into the habit of clearing the clutter every night before you go to bed.  Need help determining what to get rid of? Keep this in mind when clearing your room.  “The only items that should be in your bedroom are the items you love and care to look at every morning and evening.”

bedroom, organizing

  • Take out any object that has sad or negative emotions or memories associated with it. Ask yourself these questions: What memory does this object remind me of? Is it pleasing? Do I feel happy? Does it make you feel sad? Do you have no feeling at all about it?
  • Taking a moment to change your wall pictures. Put pictures you love together in clusters.  Here are some cluster themes:
    • Trips you have taken
    • Family members
    • Pets you love
    • Inspiring quotes in picture frames
    • Artwork
  • Add real plants or a boutique of fresh flowers to your room.  It not only looks nice, but fresh green heart leaf plants help clean the air.  Tip: Wet dust the leaves with a partially wet paper towel every few months to reduce the dust in the room.
  • Add a cluster of candles on a tray with a mirror behind.  Place it on the dresser or near a mirror so it reflects more light in the room.  Here is a battery operated one from Amazon:

  • Add your favorite fragrant scent plug-ins, scented candles or incense.  If you like incense and don’t have an incense holder? Place incense sticks standing upright into the dirt of plants. Be sure to not have the incense touch the sides of the pot or the leaves of the plant.  It works great and when it is finished, there is no mess to clean up.
  • Have a speaker/radio/alarm to play relaxing music or sounds. Here is an example of one that is a clock radio that does just that from Amazon.   
    Tip: If you have an orange display clock radio, change your clock to a blue light display. We did this recently, and boy, did it make a difference at night.  It wasn’t as bright.
  • Assign a corner for your treasures that you want to display. Make a special corner for your absolute favorite knick knacks.
  • Create an area for a desk and a chair or a seating area near the window for you to relax. A cute small desk with a comfortable chair works great and allows you to sit and enjoy the room and look outside.
  • Install a small indoor fountain or electronic fireplace. Here is an example of a small fountain and a wall-mount fireplace from Amazon:

  • Install dimmable lighting overhead and task lighting on night stands. Here is a replaceable switch for the room like this one from Amazon and then replace the bulbs to dimmable bulbs.

  • Make the entire room look relaxing. Buy new bedding.  Paint the walls a soothing color.

By doing some of these tasks, it will make a difference in your bedroom and will hopefully improve your sleep and help you relax easier at nighttime.

Sabrina Quairoli

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Tortellini Spinach and Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Spinach Mushroom Soup

It’s Lent!

I always have issues finding recipes to do on Friday nights during Lent. This is a recipe I was introduced to when I got married 20 years ago. Since then, I have modified it and made it every winter.  It is a great one pot weeknight meal for a family of 4. It’s enough for a dinner and then leftovers the next day. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. 

Here are the ingredients: 

Tortellini Spinach Mushroom Ingredients

24 oz fresh tortellini package
1-2 tbsp of butter, spread, or olive oil
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 can stewed tomatoes chopped
8 oz of fresh or frozen baby spinach
4-8 oz of mushroom sliced thin
32 oz of vegetable broth

Note: This recipe is very flexible, feel free to add or replace what you like. 

Recipe Instructions: 

Saute mushrooms in butter or olive oil

Add the spread or butter to the pan.

Saute thinly sliced mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add garlic. Then, add to spinach, cook for 1 minutes. Add stewed tomatoes. Add Vegetable broth. Bring to boil.

Then, Add tortellini and cook as per the package instructions.

Tortellini spinach mushroom soup in the pot

Let stand for 10 minutes.

Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Here is the recipe to print for your convenience. 

Tortellini Spinach Soup

Ingredients

  • 24 oz fresh Tortellini package
  • 1-2 tbsp of butter, spread, or olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes chopped
  • 8 oz of fresh or frozen baby spinach
  • 4-8 oz of mushroom sliced thin
  • 32 oz of vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Add the spread or butter to the pan.
  2. Sautee thinly sliced mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic. Then, add to spinach, cook for 1 minutes. Add stewed tomatoes. Add Vegetable broth. Bring to boil.
  4. Then, Add tortellini and cook as per the package instructions.
  5. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

 

Here are some great cookbooks about soups from Amazon.  Just click on the image to buy.

      

 

Sabrina Quairoli

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

DIY Magnetic Chalkboard Weekly Paper Sorter

Magnetic-Caulkboard-weekly-paper-sorter

A few years ago, I created a weekly paper sorter in my old kitchen.  Here is the link of that DIY project. I used this paper sorter for my kids papers for the week.  This is how I would use it:  On Sunday, I would pull all the papers and envelopes I needed for the entire week and hang them on the appropriate day clip.  It worked great in my older kitchen because I had a lot of wall space near my phone.

However, when we remodeled the kitchen, I had to get rid of my paper sorter.  It was too big for my command station.  So, I decided to create a DIY Magnetic Chalkboard Weekly Paper Sorter to replace my other one.  Here it is.

Finished-Magnetic-Chalkboard

Here are the instructions on how I made it.  It was quite easy and took an hour to make.

supplies-needed-to-make-the-weekly-magnet-board

 This is the material I used.  I changed my mind and decided just to use 1 3M Command Strip hook (clear) to hold the magnet chalkboard instead of the 4 hook key hook shown. I picked up all these supplies at my local Michael’s.

Add-the-felt-pads-to-the-back-of-the-metal-to-protect-the-wood

First, I added felt pads to the back of the board so it wouldn’t scratch the wood.

Then, I added hot glue to the back of the flowers and added them to the three clips.  Here is an example of how one of them looked.

Use-the-hot-glue-gun-and-glue-more-flowers-to-the-magnet-board

Then, I used the hot glue and added more flowers to the magnetic chalkboard.

Finished-Board-and-clips

Here is the finished flower clips and board after the hot glue cooled. Doesn’t it look cute.

finished-chalkboard-tags

Then, I write on chalkboard painted tags from Monday to Sunday.  I added one day to each side of the tags.  I put Saturday and Sunday on one side.  I used a bistro chalk marker so it would dry and not rub off.  But, you could use a regular piece of chalk and relabel the days that have activities every week.

Finished-Magnetic-Chalkboard

Here is the final DIY Magnetic Chalkboard for sorting my papers.

I hope you like it.   It was fun to make too. How do you sort your papers / envelopes for the week.  Please leave a comment below.

Sabrina Quairoli

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Replace These Kitchen Tools To Save Space

Replace These Kitchen Tools to Save Space

Last last year, we redesigned our kitchen. Here is a picture of the part of the kitchen. As you can see, we have lots of drawers and cabinet space.  We love it!  It works really well and we have cooked ever since. Though there is one issue, the drawer openings are a little narrow from what we are used to.   Because of this, it is difficult for us to store kitchen tools that are a little tall in them.

kitchenremodel2014

 

Recently, I went to my favorite kitchen store and came across these kitchen tools to save space.  I was so excited to find these items.  Finally, I don’t have to destroy my drawers just to store a kitchen tool

First, I found this large splatter guard.  It fits standard pans nicely and can be stored in a drawer easily.  The traditional guards would never fit in my drawer.  It would have to be stored somewhere else.  Here is one from Amazon, if you want to buy it. Kuhn Rikon Foldable Splatter Guard, 12-Inch, Green

Then, I found this whisk that flattens. The one I purchased was coated, which works well with non-stick sauce pans too. Here is one from Amazon but it is metal and not coated. Kuhn Rikon Easy-Store 10-Inch Whisk  It saves so much room in my baking drawer.

Wisk flattened and traditional comparison

And lastly, I found this collapsible potato masher.  My concern was it wouldn’t be sturdy enough for mashing potatoes, but it works great.  To tilt the masher, all I needed to do is press the two sides together.  It then locks into place.  Really cool.   Here is the brand I purchased: Prepara Flip Potato Masher, Brown  I found it on Amazon too.

I am so happy I found these items.  They fit so much better in the drawers and I was able open and closed them so much more easily now. Do you have any kitchen tools that don’t take much room in your drawers?  Please comment below.

Full Disclosure: I purchased these items myself.  No one is paying me to talk about these items. If you purchase the items from Amazon, I will receive an advertising fee for your order. 

Sabrina Quairoli

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Crock Pot Ground Meat Pockets

Crock-Pot-Ground-Meat-Pocke

This is one of my favorite Crock Pot recipe. I call it “Crock Pot Ground Meat Pockets” because you can use any type of meat as long as it is a lean type ground meat.  I decided to change it up a bit and make ground meat pockets with this meat mixture.

This is such a versatile dish. I have frozen this cooked dish in two 4 serving freezer bags for two family meals.  I also used this dish as a meat tomato sauce with pasta. And, of course, made it into meat pockets.  It’s so easy to do.

Here are the ingredients.

Slow Cooker Ground Chicken ingredients

3 lb lean ground meat (chicken, turkey or beef)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic
40 oz of tomato sauce
1 (6 oz.) can of tomato paste
1 (3.8 oz) can of sliced ripe olives, drained
1 drizzle of olive oil
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 – 12 oz shredded mozzarella
4 canisters of prepackaged croissant

Instructions: 

Add the onion and garlic to olive oil and then add the ground chicken till brown.  Stir frequently.  Add parsley to tomato sauce

Add the olive oil to the pan, then add the ground turkey, onion, and garlic, and optional red pepper to it to make it spicy. Stirring frequently over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the meat is cooked. Drain the meat. 

stir the mixture and ingredients together in crock pot

In the 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker, add the cooked meat mixture, tomato sauce, parsley, tomato paste, sliced ripe olives, and optional dried oregano and mix well.

Cover, cook on high settings for 2 hours or low setting for 3.5 to 5 hours.

Here is how to make the pockets. (Note: I only did 2 canisters and used the rest for leftovers the next day.)

Preheat the oven at 375 degrees.

Keep two sides of the croissant together and place them on a parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

add to the croissants

Let it cool a bit and then drain a about 1/3 of a cup of the mixture and add to top of the croissant.

Add a tablespoon of shredded mozzarella on top then cover with the other croissant pair.  Be sure to pinch the edges. 

Bake it in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

That’s it. Eat and enjoy.

Here is a printable of the recipe.  

Crock Pot Ground Meat Pockets

How Many Served 6-8

Serving Size 1-2 cup

Ingredients

  • 3 lb lean ground meat (chicken, turkey or beef)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 40 oz of tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 oz.) can of tomato paste
  • 1 (3.8 oz) can of sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1 drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 8 - 12 oz shredded mozzarella
  • 4 canisters of prepackaged croissant

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil to the pan, then add the ground turkey, onion, and garlic, and optional red pepper to it to make it spicy. Stirring frequently over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the meat is cooked. Drain the meat.
  2. In the 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker, add the cooked meat mixture, tomato sauce, parsley, tomato paste, sliced ripe olives, and optional dried oregano and mix well.
  3. Cover, cook on high settings for 2 hours or low setting for 3.5 to 5 hours.
  4. How to make the pockets.
  5. Preheat the oven at 375 degrees.
  6. Keep two sides of the croissant together and place them on a parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
  7. Let it cool a bit and then drain a about 1/3 of a cup of the mixture and add to top of the croissant.
  8. Add a tablespoon of shredded mozzarella on top then cover with the other croissant pair. Be sure to pinch the edges.
  9. Bake it in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  10. That's it. Eat and enjoy.

Feel free to leave a comment below about what you think of this recipe.  I hope you enjoy it. 

Here are some great crock pot cookbooks from Amazon.

      

Sabrina Quairoli

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Organizing Cash Donations

Organizing Cash Donations

While doing our taxes this year, I realized that we donated to many charities throughout the year.  Most of these donations did not happen regularly.  By the end of the year, we had donated to 19 different charities! Yes, that’s right, 19!

The fact that I donated to 19 charities didn’t bother me. What did bother me was I didn’t know when and how much I donated. To make matters worse, I didn’t donate consistently throughout the year so it was even harder to keep track which charity I donated to and when I sent it.  It was quite confusing.

So, to stay on track with my goal to simplify this year, I decided to develop a more efficient system for tracking cash donations. By managing my donations, I donated more once a year and wrote fewer checks. This is the breakdown of my organizing cash donation system.

First, I gathered the previous year charity names and amounts donated from my money management software.

Then, when I received donation request letters, I reviewed the cash donation list to see if I donated this year. If not, I paper-clipped the letter and envelope to the list as a reminder when I did bills.

Below is what I use for my cash donation tracking.

Cash donation checklist

The “Charity Name” column is for self-explanatory. In the next column, I added the total amount I donated last year.  This helped me stay on track with my budget for donations.

The next three columns are used for tracking what I donated this year.  I added the amount donated, the checks or credit card transaction I used, and the check/transaction date.

That’s it.

This worked perfectly. I feel like I have more control over what and when I donate.

Do you give cash donations to charities?  How do you keep track of those transactions?  Please leave a comment below and join the conversation.

 

Update:

NOTE: This checklist is for tracking during the year.  For tax purposes: be sure to keep any and all donation request letter (write check number, date mailed, and amount on it) from your donated charity, as well as, the address you are mailing it to.  This is needed for your tax return at the end of the year. Some charities send a confirmation of your donation letter, if you receive them, be sure to save that as well.  Sort in the folder in date order.

Sabrina Quairoli

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Organizing Tools Tips

Organizing Tools Tips

If you like to do home projects or just love crafts and use lots of tools, keeping the tools organized is essential to stay productive, safe and be able to complete the project.

Here are organizing tools tips to use in your home.

  • Use fabric tool bags to hold your tools.  Here is an example of bag for tools from Amazon.

  • Use clear shoe boxes to hold small. Using shoe boxes in different sizes works great to keep cables, glues, and other things tidy in your tool area.

  • Add a table that is waist height do tasks while standing. This was found on Amazon.com.

  • Pegboards are wonderful ways to organize tools. Grouping the same type of tools together on the pegboard works great.
  • Paint buckets with pocket liners are a great easy to store your tools. We use them for different tasks, like painting, electrical, plumbing, etc… Here are examples from Amazon.com:

  • Use pull out drawers for screws like this one here from Amazon.com.  Labeling the drawers with the size of the screw helps you remember the different sizes you are storing. 

Here is a post I created about what my husband and I did to make our tool closet more organized and less clutter. Check it out for more tips.

Exciting news!  I was asked to curate a DIY Tool Organizing board on my hometalk page. It will be shared on social media and newsletter.   Click on the image below or here hometalk.com to check it out.  I hope it helps you get motivated to get your tools organized.

Sabrina's Organizing on HomeTalk.com

 

Making your tools organized will, of course, help you complete projects quicker.  But, it also helps when you need a particular tool to quickly repair areas of your home.  It will keep your tools protected and free from damage. As well as, keep you safe from injury if a tool is not properly stored.  I prefer keeping the tools in a locked closet with shelves to display everything neatly and away from small kids.  I hope you enjoyed this post.  Please feel free to leave a comment below.

 

Sabrina Quairoli

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

White Turkey Chili

White Turkey Chili

White Turkey Chili is one of my staple recipes I like to make in the winter.  It’s warm and quick. This one is my favorite. It’s just enough for a family of four. I also used this recipe for freezer meals.

Here are the ingredients.

white turkey chili ingredients

In a large Dutch oven, drizzle some olive oil and then add the ground turkey, onion, and garlic till the ground turkey is cooked.  Stir until all the ground turkey breaks up and no longer pink and the onions are tender.

cook the turkey and onion and garlic

Stir in 4 cups of chicken broth, beans, chili peppers, cumin and pepper.  If you want to add salt, you just need a pinch.  Use enough chicken broth to cover the turkey. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and cover for 30 minutes.

Added chicken broth

Stir together the water and flour till dissolved. Add the dissolved mixture to the chili mixture. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until thick.  Add toppings like these.

Chili toppings

Here is a recipe.

White Turkey Chili

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cooking Time 30 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

How Many Served 4

Serving Size 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 lb Ground Turkey
  • .5 cup chopped Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 4 Cups of Chicken Broth
  • 1 15 oz Cannellini Beans
  • 1 4 oz can of Diced Green Chili Peppers
  • 1.5 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Toppings:
  • Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Sliced Black Olives
  • Sour Cream
  • Tortilla Chips

Instructions

  1. In a large Dutch oven, drizzle some olive oil and then add the ground turkey, onion, and garlic till the ground turkey is cooked. Stir until all the ground turkey breaks up and no longer pink and the onions are tender.
  2. Stir in 4 cups of chicken broth, beans, chili peppers, cumin and pepper. If you want to add salt, you just need a pinch. Use enough chicken broth to cover the turkey. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and cover for 30 minutes.
  3. Stir together the water and flour till dissolved. Add the dissolved mixture to the chili mixture. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until thick.
  4. Add toppings like these.

That’s it.  I hope you enjoy it.

Here are other cookbooks that have chili recipes from Amazon:

     

Sabrina Quairoli

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Mens Closet Organization Tips

Mens Closet Organization Tips

Since Valentine’s Day is coming, why not give the man in your life a valuable gift –  the gift of men’s closet organization. By organizing your man’s closet, you will be able to help them manage their time in the morning better and be able help them see what they have and what they need easy and quickly.

Many years ago, I helped my father organize his closet, these tips came from my experience of doing my first men’s closet organization. I hope they help you and your man.

First and foremost, be sure you ask your man how they want to use their closet space.

  1. By tasks (work, casual, workout, etc…)
  2. By type of item (pants, shirts, sweatpants, etc…)

Men do tasks in order, first they put on their undergarments, then maybe their shirt or pants, then their socks, etc… To figure out how he does his closet, ask him what he does first, second, third, etc….

Here is an example of the order he may use:

Undergarment >>> Socks >>> Shirt >>> Pants >>> Shoes

After you figured out how he does his morning routine, you need to determine where to start.

  • Start from the left of the closet to right of the closet when organizing for right-handed people.
  • Start from the right of the closet to left of the closet when organizing for left-handed people.

Here are some main areas to take into consideration when organizing the closet:

For Hanging Items :  Buy the same type of hangers.  Make sure they are strong enough to hold the items.  Check out these hangers from Amazon.com.

For Suits:  Buy hangers that are wider at the shoulders so it keeps the jackets shoulders on the hanger. Click on the image to buy.

For Shirts: If you have lots of button-down shirts, have all the button down shirts facing the same direction works best.  From my experience, determining how he searches for the shirts will help minimize time looking for something. Ask him which way he prefers his shirts to be facing.

If the button-down/dress shirt usually gets the top button buttoned, these hangers would work fine. Click on the image to buy.

If you know your man will not button the top button, get a velvet coated hanger to help keep them on the hangers. Click on the image to buy.

For Pants: Jeans can be folded or hung depending on the space in the closet.  Dress pants and slacks should always be hung.  

There are two ways to hang pants, folded on a hanger or hanging down from the leg.  Here are the two types of hangers from Amazon.

For hanging down from the leg: Click on the image to buy.

For folded pants over the hanger:  Click on the image to buy.

For Shoes: Group the casual shoes and formal shoes.  If the formal shoes are not worn often, use a box like this one to protect them from dust. Click on the image to buy.

Here is a great shoe racks to use for a man’s closet for Amazon. Click on the image to buy.

For Jewelry / Watches / Calf links / Collar Stays:

Storing Jewelry, watches, calf links, and collar stays in one unit on a shelf  in the closet works nicely too. Here is an examples of a men’s valet box that can use stored on a shelf in the closet.  Click on the image to buy from Amazon.

For Ties/Belts: Mounting a unit to an unused wall or back of a door works great.  Here is an example of one from Amazon. Feel free to click-through to buy.

That’s it.  I hope this post helps you and your man get his closet organized.  We have covered a lot of information here, feel free to leave a message with your questions about your closet in the comment section and I will be sure to respond.

Sabrina Quairoli

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

February Monthly Organizing Challenge – Speed Up Weeknight Cooking

February Monthly Organizing Challenge

When we are busy, our meals can be a little less healthy and not as good for us.  So, this month’s organizing challenge is to speed up weeknight cooking processes to decrease eating process foods.  Here are some areas to look at and change:

  • Pull recipe papers or use sticky tabs in cookbooks to mark the recipe pages that you want to make during the weeknight.
  • On Sunday, decide and schedule 3-4 weeknight meals. Then schedule one day for leftovers or another day for dining out if you want.  Add all these recipe names on your calendar as a reminder of what to cook each night.
  • Review the recipe ingredients for each one.  Have a place for your meal ingredients on the counter. I have a plastic container like this and label it “Dinner Time”.  Click on the link and you can buy it at Amazon.com.
  • Group your ingredients in your pantry by the following categories. 
    • Legumes
    • Pastas/grains
    • Nuts
    • Vegetables
    • Fruits
    • Other canned food
  • Use chopping tools, like this one to speed up the chopping process.  I use this one when I have to chop onions.  When you click on the image, you can buy it from Amazon.com.
  • Keep knives sharp.  It’s safer for you when you are cutting and you can cut faster if the blade is sharp.
  • Keep your most used pots and pans in the front of your cabinet.  Any most frequently used items near your cooking area. 
  • Pre-cut your veggies in the morning and bag them for evening use.

By taking steps to improve the evening meal prep systems, you will be able to get your meals prepared quicker and will be less likely to grab the processed food.  Let me know how you do and if any of these tips help you speed up your meal prep time.   If you are looking for new recipes, please come back on Tuesdays.  New for 2015:  I started posting quick easy meals for families.  I hope you come back to visit soon.

 

Sabrina Quairoli

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.