The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Shannon at AKA Design. I am so loving this series and I hope you are too!
Hi Organizing Junkies! Is it possible that May is almost over already? How did that happen?
What did you all think of the last Box It Up?
Do you remember the basic premise of this whole series? Basically we’re taking ‘workaday’ items – things that are often necessary, but not always handy when needed – and create mini-kits to keep around the house. They don’t take up much room at all, but they come in real handy.
Of course, even better is that most of the items in each and every Box in the series can be found at the dollar store!
This week’s Box is all about Parties – of the last minute variety.
Most of the time parties are planned. Cake and balloons are ordered ahead of time; pretty coordinating plates, cups, and napkins are purchased and put out with plenty of time to spare.
But what about when something comes up last minute? Or when an occasion is forgotten? Ack! How embarrassing?!
Having a little box of party supplies ‘up your sleeve’ can be a super sweet way to celebrate friends or family!
For a box full of last minute party supplies, include:
- Pretty napkins
- Plates (coordinate with napkins)
- Cupcake decorations
- Plastic utensils
- “Birthday” candles
You could also include:
- Cupcake mix
Simply pack up your box (remember I use cheap-o plastic shoe boxes found at The Home Depot for less than a dollar each!) and store in the kitchen, pantry or hall cupboard. This is definitely a great partner to the Handwritten Not Box we talked about a few weeks ago.
Okay, ladies (and gents) this is your challenge: prepare your Last Minute Party Supply Box and throw an impromptu celebration!
Shannon Acheson is a passionate interior decorator, frugal DIYer, sometime graphic designer, wannabe writer, homeschooling momma and adoring wife. She is the co-owner (with hubster) of AKA Design and the main writer/designer for the blog of the same name. Shannon recently moved from a war-era bungalow to a cozy backsplit in Oshawa, Ontario with her husband and their three children, and during spare moments can be found scouring local shops for decor bargains, rearranging the furniture again, or scrubbing paint off her hands.
See also in this series:
Box It Up! for Handwritten Notes
Box It Up! for Overnight Guests
Box It Up! for Mani Pedi’s
Linking up at 36th Avenue
Today sort of crept up on me. It’s May 22nd which means 7 years ago I wrote my very first blog post never once thinking I’d still be blogging all these years later. And boy what a ride it’s been and now I’m considered a Granny in the blogging world :) Keeping up with all the changes over the years has been hard and exhausting, especially for a non-techy girl like me, but I can honestly say that I have loved every minute of sharing this crazy passion of mine with you. There is no greater reward for me than the emails and comments I get saying “thanks to you, I’m now addicted to organizing!”. Oh how it makes me so happy to know that I have played a hand in creating organizing junkies everywhere, whoot!
From the very beginning I think I’ve maintained my mission of getting others “hooked” along with me. I wanted a place where readers could come and NOT see picture perfect photos from magazines. These types of photos are so unrealistic to the everyday family that the ideas couldn’t possibly be achieved or imitated in real life. Instead I wanted a place where readers could gain valuable organizing tips without feeling overwhelmed or obsessed with making things perfect. There is no such thing as “perfect” unless you live inside the pages of those magazines and I’m pretty confident that most of us don’t. Nope life happens around us each and every day and I hope that I’ve been able to help you manage your everyday with simple practical do-able advice with a whole lot of fun thrown in along the way. That’s what it’s all about for me and I do hope that’s what comes across loud and clear.
My first blog post was only one paragraph and apparently I liked the idea of using dot, dot, dots. Sheesh! Here it is:
Okay so I’ve been told…I’m a freak….I LOVE to organize…it is my drug of choice what can I say. It’s what I do when I’m bored, mad, happy or sad. A day is not a day unless I’ve organized something…anything…I need it….I go mad searching, searching, anything, room, closet, cupboard, drawer, anything….I do my thing…empty…purge…containerize…assemble….only then when I see my finished work…I feel calm, I sigh and everything is right with the world….until I need my next fix of course and the cycle continues. Join me as I chronicle the life of an organizing JUNKIE!
Yep that about says it all, even today 7 years later :) On a personal level this blog was birthed when my youngest was just six months old. Without this blog I wouldn’t have been able to stay at home with him all these years and for that I am so very grateful. He is now 7 and in Grade two and has no idea that all moms don’t blog for a living lol. Thank you to all my readers (new and old) who have supported me throughout the years, you are simply the BEST!
Most Popular Posts:
I thought it would be fun to go through some of my stats from the last 7 years and got a kick out of seeing what my top 7 most popular posts are:
Free Grocery List Template
How to Put Together an Emergency Preparedness Kit (guest post)
Free Printable Responsibility Chore Charts
My Recipe Index with Printable Grocery Lists
Create a Command Center & Get Your Paper Piles off the Counter
12 Items Every Guest Room Needs
How to Get Organized – Follow these PROCESS steps
Top Blog Referrers:
I also wanted to give some love to the top 7 blogs that have sent the most traffic my way over the years. Thank you so much ladies!
I Heart Organizing
Life Your Way
Money Saving Mom
The Happy Housewife
Life as Mom
5 Dollar Dinners
Totally Together Journal
Now what would be a celebration without a giveaway? How would you like to win a $100 Target gift card? The organizing supplies there are endless and drool worthy that is for sure! To enter simply leave a comment on this post telling me which post of mine has either helped you the most, touched you in some way or just made you laugh at my freakness. If you are new here, this page here (click on that link) is a great place to start. Giveaway closes Tuesday, May 28th at 4:00 pm PST and is open to all.
Thanks again everyone from the bottom of my heart!
This week at BundleoftheWeek.com, add five Kitchen Stewardship ebooks to your library at a fraction of their regular price! Whether you’re already a fan of the talented Katie Kimball or just hearing about these ebooks for the first time, this collection of real food ebooks includes not just recipes but plenty of information to empower you on your real food journey — and it’s available at almost 80% off retail this week only. Plus, purchasers will receive a special coupon code to purchase Katie’s latest ebook, Better Than a Box, at just 50%!
From soaking grains and using beans to stretch your budget to dozens of snack recipes for busy families on the go and tasty desserts that won’t leave you feeling deprived, Katie’s ebooks offer recipes and kitchen tips for every meal of the day.
P.S. Even if you’ve already got one or two of these ebooks in your collection, this collection offers a great value for the remaining books. And you’re welcome to pass on your duplicates to a friend or family member to encourage them in their real food journey as well!
Healthy Snacks to Go (2nd Edition) by Katie Kimball
With over 45 healthy snack recipes and ideas including traditional granola bars, iron-packed Popeye bars, and a dozen “larabar” style variations, Healthy Snacks To Go is the resource you need for healthy snack ideas. Complete with time-saving tips, frugal options and allergy notes, plus diaper-bag friendly snacks that are toddler-approved, this will become your “go-to” cookbook to keep your cupboards filled with nourishing yet quick choices.
The Everything Beans Book by Katie Kimball
This comprehensive resource explaining everything you want to know about beans and legumes. In The Everything Beans Book, you’ll find recipes for homemade beans and rice, refried beans, wraps, Mexican fare, soups, pasta dishes, and even a dessert, plus frugal tips and substitution ideas! Beyond recipes, this ebook also offers over 20 pages of information to facilitate your new love of beans and make sure you can cook with dry beans without any stress.
Smart Sweets by Katie Kimball
Katie’s goal with Smart Sweets: 30 Desserts to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth is to give you options that are way better for you than you’ll find in the grocery store, usually better for you than another homemade version, and sometimes downright good for you. You’ll find less sugar, healthier sweeteners, whole grains, soaked and sprouted grains, no grains, probiotics and even some vegetables in these desserts recipes, without sacrificing taste or enjoyment!
Is Your Flour Wet? by Katie Kimball
In Is Your Flour Wet? Soaked, Sprouted, or Soured: Grains Recipes from Our Kitchens to Yours, Katie offers a basic introduction to soaking, sprouting and sourdough, plenty of how-to tutorials and more than 45 recipes from a variety of real food bloggers, including breads, snacks, pancakes and waffles, oatmeal, cakes and more!
The Family Camping Handbook by Katie Kimball
If you’ve always wanted to try camping as a frugal family vacation but are nervous because you have little ones, The Family Camping Handbook will show you how to survive and even thrive out in the woods with young children. You’ll find an overview to help you get started camping, packing and to-do lists and, of course, real food adaptations to standard camping fare. This ebook includes a total of 36 camping recipes and techniques, including paleo/primal/grain-free adaptations.
The Kitchen Stewardship bundle is only available through 8am EST on Monday, 5/27. Get yours today:
*affiliate links included in post
Hey everyone! Today is a holiday for us Canadians so I’ll be relaxing with my family finally enjoying some sunny (yay!) weather. I’m not even going to do my usual Monday morning grocery shop. Gasp! Ha-ha I’m going to put it off until Tuesday instead. Sometimes you just have to be wild and crazy lol.
So a couple of weeks ago I asked you all for some tips on peeling hard boiled eggs. I appreciate all your help. I tried many of the suggestions including adding salt to the water, using older eggs and rolling the eggs on the counter before peeling. Unfortunately I didn’t have luck with any of them. But one reader emailed me a link to a video with a really neat trick to peeling eggs. You can find that video here. Basically it involves peeling away a tiny little bit of the shell on either side of the egg and then blowing the egg out. It sounds crazy but it worked! No kidding. I had to blow a little harder than suggested (my face went red) but I eventually got it. So very cool!
I may have mentioned this one before but last week’s recipe highlight goes to the Baked Tacos recipe. Oh my word are these ever good. I gobbled three up and had more the next day for lunch and I’m really not a fan of leftovers for lunch normally :) The trick to these is to use the flat bottom taco shells so they stand up easily. YUM!!! Sorry I hate them so fast I forgot to take a picture.
Menu Planning with Pinterest:
I found this great tutorial online on How to Use Pinterest to Meal Plan. Be sure to check it out if you are looking for ways to simplify your menu planning process.
Plus to help you further, I also found a fun site called Made From Pinterest where you’ll find plenty of recipes to try from Pinterest.
My Weekly Menu Plan:
Monday: Stat holiday here in Canada ~ we’re grilling up some hot dogs
Tuesday: Super Easy Spaghetti & Meatballs in the Crockpot
Wednesday: Black Bean & Corn Chicken Salad Pitas
Thursday: Leftover buffet
Friday: Hot & Sticky Chicken served with mashed potatoes and corn
Saturday: Best Sloppy Joes Ever (family favorite!)
Sunday: Picking night!
Have a wonderfully organized week everyone :)
WHAT’S ON YOUR MENU THIS WEEK? JOIN US!
Menu Plan Guidelines, banner selections and recipe helpers are here.
More family favorite recipes here.
Don’t forget to join the growing Menu Plan Monday Facebook Page!!
One of my favorite menu planning resources:
The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Sharon at Mom of 6.
Hi everyone! I’m so glad to be back today at Org Junkie talking to you about how to set up some summer fun stations in your garage! You and your kids are going to be spending a lot of time outside in your yard this summer, and it would be really great if your kids could access the toys and games that they want to play with without having to come and find you to help get something down from a high shelf, or help them dig out their bike from the depths of an overcrowded garage, or help them locate their favorite pink soccer ball. Which is why I think setting up several “fun stations” in your garage is a great thing to do before the official start of summer!
Before Setting Up “Fun Stations”, Remove Dangerous Items!
The first thing you’re going to want to do is remove anything dangerous that you might have been storing in the garage during the winter months when the kids weren’t in there quite so often. Things like gas containers for lawnmowers, fertilizer for outdoor plants, and any other type of hazardous chemical should be relocated to a shed, basement, or somewhere else that is not accessible by the kids.
Fun Station #1: Bikes!
My kids love riding their bikes so it’s important that they can each find their own bike and helmet without having to move 100 things to get to them. And before we had “designated parking spaces” for each bike- that’s what used to happen. A child would find his/her bike, ride it, and then just park it in the closest spot they could find just inside of the garage door. And the next child would do the same, and before long we couldn’t even walk into the garage because everything was piled up right at the front!
So we purchased these bike stands from Amazon and have them lined up on our garage floor. The kids each have their own parking space so they know right where they can store their bike, and they hang their helmets over the handlebars so they can find it each time they want to ride.
Fun Station #2: Balls!
We have two of these great wall organizers for hanging balls, and the cool thing is that the kids can toss their balls into the top of the bins to put them away, but they can also reach through the vent in the mesh side panel to easily access the ball that they want- no help needed from Mom! We hung these bins at kid-height so they can access them on their own.
Fun Station #3: Scooters and More!
My husband created “scooter parking” by installing a few pieces of wood (leftover from another project) into wall studs, so the kids can just hook their handlebars over the wood “arms” and the scooters stay put. He also used a couple of narrow pieces of wood nailed across garage studs to create containers that hold baseball bats, lacrosse sticks, golf clubs, and any other tall unwieldy pieces of sports equipment. The kids can easily get to them and return them when they’re finished.
Fun Station #4: Activities and Toys
I love using bins in the garage to store all of the kids different equipment for activities and toys such as rockets, baseball mitts, jump ropes, rock and bug collecting supplies, etc.- everything that they would want to play with is in a bin and the bin is labeled so the kids know exactly where they need to go to find what they’re looking for, and exactly where to put it when they’re finished.
Fun Stations #5: Sidewalk Chalk
My kids love to play with sidewalk chalk and they can spend hours creating elaborate murals all over our driveway. So at the beginning of each summer I like to make sure that our sidewalk chalk bin is full of new chalk that the kids can use to create their masterpieces.
Fun Station #6: Bubbles!
And it wouldn’t be summer without blowing bubbles, right?! But the problem with bubbles is that they can be so messy, and kids who are excited to refill their own bubble containers can end up spilling out an entire gallon of bubble solution all down the driveway, as you watch your money going down the drain, literally! So I wanted to create a bubble refill station for my kids that would be spill proof and fun for them to use, and save a little money over store-bought bubbles. Here’s how I did it:
I took a use an empty container of liquid laundry detergent, the kind that has the spout on the bottom and a twist cap on top, and I thoroughly cleaned out the inside. I then created my own bubble mixture based on this recipe from my favorite science guy, Steve Spangler- which makes enough to fill this 1.7 gallon container.
Homemade Bubbles Recipe
16 cups of water
1 cup of Dawn dishwashing detergent (Steve says that Dawn works best!)
1/2 cup of vegetable glycerin
Pour each of your 3 ingredients into your laundry detergent container, and gently swish it around to mix it. Allow your bubble solution to sit overnight which allows the products to bond together which produces even stronger (and bigger!) bubbles.
Make bubble wands out of chenille stems (pipe cleaners). You can shape them into circles, figure eights, diamonds, butterflies, hearts, etc. I like to have my kids dispense a very small amount of bubble mixture into large flat plastic containers, just enough so that the bubble wand is fully immersed in the liquid. The kids can easily refill their plastic container as needed- and the cool thing about using a liquid laundry detergent dispenser is that they have to actually push the button on the dispenser to allow the bubble solution to come out! If they tip over the bubble solution- it won’t spill out, and there is no way to accidentally leave the nozzle open the way that you can on beverage dispenser- so it’s pretty “kid-proof”! If you’d like a copy of the bubble station label, you can download it and print it in a 5×7 size. I ran mine through my Xyon laminator/adhesive machine to make it waterproof before adhering it to the clean detergent bottle.
If you get a chance, I hope you’ll stop by to see me at Momof6 – a place where I write about organizing your home, using a family calendar, creating household routines, hosting at-home birthday parties, and holding a DIY summer camp! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter (@sharonmomof6), and Pinterest!
Linking up at Six Sisters’ Stuff and Your Homebased Mom and Home Stories A to Z