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Getting it Out

October 27, 2011 by  
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I am pretty well known among my friends that if I eat mustard (the old school plain yellow kind) it will end up on me!  With Halloween around the corner, chocolate stains might be an issue!  Have some of these items together to tackle some common stains:

For washable fabrics:

Chocolate: Combination solvent for grease & rinse. If needed, a digestant for protein.

Coffee: White vinegar till gone. Has sugar: follow up flush with water; milk follow up with combination solvent.

Berry sauces: Dab with denatured alcohol. Flush with white vinegar for remaining color then dab with dish detergent for remaining residue.

Gravy: Combination solvent for grease then flush with white vinegar.

Grease: Cover with absorbent to draw out stain.  Dab with combination solvent & flush with water. If necessary, flush with mineral spirits.

Sap: Dab with mineral spirits & let air dry.  Rub with detergent before washing.

Tea: Flush with lemon juice to remove color then diluted bleach if necessary; Contains sugar follow up with water; milk follow up with combination solvent.

Wax: Freeze by running an ice cube over. Scrape as much off as possible.  Iron on low setting with a towel placed over & beneath stain. Use mineral spirits to remove residue.

Red wine: On delicate cloth soak spot with denatured alcohol. Flush with white vinegar to remove residual stain. On sturdy fabrics, coat with salt and leave for 5 minutes. Stretch stain over heat proof bowl; secure with rubber band. Place in sink & carefully pour boiling water over stain from a height of at least a foot.

White wine: Flush with cool water.

Loving Leftovers!

October 24, 2011 by  
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First, some statistics:

•An average household of four throws away $590/year in food
•Wasted food may also have wasted packaging, transportation costs, agricultural costs and other secondary environmental impacts.
•Americans throw away 25% of the food we prepare
•We produce twice as much food as needed per person
Cooked leftovers stay fresh for up to seven days and some can taste better the second time around.  Declare at least one night use it up meal! Plan ahead to save time & resources. According to a 2009 study from the Bulk is Green Council you can save an average of 35% by buying just what you need!
Create tacos from leftover chicken, greens & roasted veggies; omelet with leftover greens & herbs; pesto leftover cheese, herbs & nuts; warm beet salad with leftover beet greens.
Extras: If you won’t get to leftovers soon, freeze them in individual sizes; broth & tomato paste can be frozen into ice cubes; nuts store well in the freezer.
Reorganize your fridge & put leftovers in one area.  Put the oldest first, newest in back. Label & date so you know what the item is!
What are you going to recreate this week??

Healthy Tips Organizing Fridge & Freezer

October 17, 2011 by  
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Some suggestions to get your food organized for optimum health!

Put fresh food snacks (washed, cut & dried veggies & fruit; hard boiled eggs)  at eye level so that is the first thing you see! Eat stuff here within a few days.

Second shelf: Yogurt, cheese, hummus, nuts for grab & go fuel.

Middle drawer: Meats & cheeses for snacks & add on to salads.

Left Bottom Shelf: Hydration: Water, all natural juices, skim milk, seltzer water.

Right Bottom 2 Shelves: Herbs, cooked rice & quinoa for quick fiber rich meals.

Bottom Drawers: Veggies, veggies, veggies.  Fruits separately as they can increase decaying process.

The Door: Condiments like salsa & miso to add flavor to meal instead of fat!

Freezer: Store veggie & fruit at top for smoothies; meal size containers of soups, etc.; lean cuts of beef, chicken, fish.

Here’s to organizing for good health!

Organize Your Fridge!

October 13, 2011 by  
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Time to tackle the fridge & get organized for better health! Quick tips to organize:
Pull out all items and sort into categories that make sense to you
Purge everything even slightly questionable: when in doubt, throw it out!
Create zones:  Food type (dairy, condiments)     By person (roommate) By size (small space).  A lazy susan is great to use for condiments to save space & bring to the table to flavor foods.
Dedicate one drawer for individually proportioned snacks.
Store leftovers in a special section to make sure you use (don’t forget to date!)

Pantry Expiration Dates

October 10, 2011 by  
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Many times our pantries get overwhelmed and people are hesitant to throw anything out.  Decluttering as much as possible is always a good idea when getting organized.  I have kept a guide from Martha Stewart’s magazine with expiration date suggestions from years ago!

Oils: Cool, dark place up to 6 months.  refrigerate nut oils and use within 3 months.

Vinegars: Up to one year in a cool spot.

Grains, Dried Beans: Up to one year.  To discourage pests, keep cornmeal in the freezer.

Dried Pasta & Rice: Transfer to air tight containers after opening.  Use within 1 year.

Baking needs: Extracts last several years; leaveners lose potency after 1 year and should be discarded after expiration date.

Sugars:  Double wrap to keep moist.  Syrups at room temp original container up to a year.

Flours: Wheat up to a year. Freeze almond flour up to 6 months.

Nuts & Dried Fruits: Nuts in freezer up to 6 months; fruits 6 months to a year well-sealed.

Canned & Bottled: Head expiration dates; otherwise most to one year.

Spices: Most lose potency after one year; keep in airtight containers away from light.

Organizing Your Recipes

October 6, 2011 by  
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Many of my clients need a system when it comes to organizing their recipes.

Scanning is a good way and eChef recipe software is a good option.  It also allows you to save recipes you have found on line and an easy to use search function.

Like the feel of the recipe in your hand?  Check out The Recipe Organizer by Cath Kidson.  It’s a binder organized by course that has pages for notes, grocery lists and measurement conversions.

Create your own filing system. Sort recipes in labeled folders and keep them in a file drawer or in an open-sided magazine storage box . Or set up a three-ring binder with tab dividers and plastic page protectors for both full sheets (pages from a magazine) and divided sheets (recipe cards).  Every time you add a recipe, eliminate one you have yet to try.

Make an index. On an index card, write the title (or name you’re likely to remember), the book/magazine it’s in, and the page number. File the cards alphabetically in a recipe box, dividing it into sections like Desserts.

Recycled recipe cards:
http://craftingagreenworld.com
http://www.centralchef.com
http://www.buy.com

Unhealthy Eating & a Disorganized Kitchen: What’s the Connection?

October 3, 2011 by  
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1 in 10 U.S. workers report increased snaking during the day because of concerns over the current economic situation.  43% say they have gained weight during their current job.

Clutter also influences weight and cardiovascular health. People don’t eat well because their kitchen isn’t functional.  It is also a contributing factor in noncompliance with taking meds and exercising.

If your kitchen is cluttered then you are most likely eating frozen or fast food.

What one step could you take today to make a difference?

Simply Stashed

September 29, 2011 by  
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I had the pleasure of meeting the mompreneur Christy Gibson Hicks who invented this product.  They are stylish, eco-friendly (they meet the highest European standards for baby products), reusable, fun and they will not open doors.

Check out her line that includes mini products for seniors and children as well as a version for your garage.

This is one green organizing product you can feel good about purchasing!  To receive 10% off use the code:  Julie

http://www.christydesignsonline.com/

Easy Way to Properly Dispose of Batteries

September 26, 2011 by  
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How many times when decluttering do you wonder if the batteries are still good?  Or do you already have a pile that need to be properly disposed?

In Raleigh, you can drop off at any fire station.  With 28 in the area, there is likely one nearby for easy drop off.  This is an easy way to dispose of used batteries properly.

While you can use rechargeable batteries for everything (I would not recommend them for smoke detectors) they are great for many other electronics and items we use daily.

To find a fire station near you:

http://raleighnc.gov/search/content/Fire/Articles/FireStations.html

To learn more about rechargeable batteries:

http://www.greenbatteries.com/

Live outside the area?  Find out how to dispose of batteries where you live:

http://earth911.com/

Affordable School Supplies!!!!

September 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

If you have not heard of or been to The Scrap Exchange in Durham I wholeheartedly recommend a trip! This place takes stuff that people would normally toss and use it to create art or for other projects.

If you are a teacher, home school your kids or need back to school supplies, this is an affordable gold mine!  Some of the “new” items they recently received this month include: 1940-70s Vintage Magazines, Mini Glass Beakers and VXI Tuffset Headsets.

It is a great place for an alternative birthday party for kids, too or to get your creative juices flowing. For instance, they have wallpaper samples. I am in the process of repairing my old dollhouse for my nieces and those samples are going to be perfect!

Check out their groovy site:

http://www.scrapexchange.org/

For those outside of the Triangle area, here are some similar stores:

http://www.scrapbox.org/ in Ann Arbor

http://www.artsandscraps.org/  in Detriot

http://urbanore.ypguides.net/ in Berkeley

http://www.mfta.org/ New York

If you have not heard of or been to The Scrap Exchange in Durham I wholeheartedly recommend a trip! This place takes stuff that people would normally toss and use it to create art or for other projects.

If you are a teacher, home school your kids or need back to school supplies, this is an affordable gold mine!  Some of the “new” items they recently received this month include: 1940-70s Vintage Magazines, Mini Glass Beakers and VXI Tuffset Headsets.

It is a great place for an alternative birthday party for kids, too or to get your creative juices flowing. For instance, they have wallpaper samples. I am in the process of repairing my old dollhouse for my nieces and those samples are going to be perfect!

Check out their groovy site:

http://www.scrapexchange.org/

For those outside of the Triangle area, here are some similar stores:

http://www.scrapbox.org/ in Ann Arbor

http://www.artsandscraps.org/  in Detriot

http://urbanore.ypguides.net/ in Berkeley

http://www.mfta.org/ New York

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