Thursday, January 24, 2008

Don't Forget This!

It's awfully hard to hold onto my own concerns while singing "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" with kindergarten. Don't forget that He's got the whole world in His hands in your day too! Kelly

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Pantry Project!

Can you tell I went back to work and didn't get back to blogging very quickly?
Here's the completed pantry project!
Three trips to Target, one to Hobby Lobby and one to Wal-mart later. :)
I'm very happy with how it's turned out and it has made using up stuff easier!

First, the shelves:

top shelf: baking supplies, flour, sugar, powdered sugar, chocolate chips and dark brown sugar

next shelf: specialty baking chips and sugar in the raw

next shelf: rice, polenta, peanuts, caramel corn, peppermint candies, red pepper flakes
front row: spicy pecans, sprinkles!, candied pecans

bottom shelf: dish towels and some decorative food items

Onto the actual pantry:

beverages, surplus paper towels/ziplocs, etc., salad dressing and . . .

seldom sought spices in a paint can that I recycled from a birthday gift Jenny gave me full of "Kelly's favorite things". From what I can remember from 2002 (!) there was a magazine, Junie B. Jones book and I'm not sure what else but I remember it was very fun! Thanks Jenny!

stuff to use at dinner time

snacking, breakfast and cans (which of course will mostly get used at
dinnertime but there wasn't room on that shelf)

baking supplies!


cool black take out box from Cuba Libre restaurant I went to
Friday night with friends from Bible study for Holly's birthday

Christmas gift of pumpkin bread from a student which has been
in the freezer but is ready to eat from breakfasts this week

ingredients to use for meals



AND! The freezer which no longer has things falling out of it upon opening the door . . . thanks to the new mini freezer in the garage that Adrian found on Craig's list! Yea!

You've Got Mail

Remember that line in You've Got Mail about Joe Fox's store being like a price club where you buy a can of olive oil that won't even fit under your kitchen sink? Well, I don't know if it was precipitated by that movies script running subconsciously through my brain or not but when Adrian said he'd buy some (GOOD) olive oil for us to use at Costco I wondered if it would fit in my newly organized pantry (pics to come!). Never fear! :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Travel Tuesdays - Chicago (Buckingham Fountain and Millennium Park)

I love Chicago!  I have been three times and yet this was my very first time to go here.  

This is Buckingham Fountain.  Isn't it beautiful?  (And big??)  

I had wanted to go since my first visit but seeing as how my previous two visits had been in February and April when freezing temps are not at all out of the question in Chicago, the fountain was not on. 

On the third trip, last May, when Adrian and I went to visit his mom (who was in town visiting), granny (who was in town from England!) and his brother (who lives there) we got to go.  The spray was still cold but it was worth it to me to see it and experience this vast fountain.  I have a "thing" for fountains.  I have for a long time.  My high school friends and I used to go to the fountains in Houston (there are several different neat ones in the medical center/Rice Village area) for fun just to sit and look on in awe.  One of the fountains we called "the proposal fountain" because one of my friends wanted to be proposed to there and guess what!  After being tipped off by a helpful friend, her fiance did!  How cool is that??!!!

This is one of the coolest sculptures I've ever seen.  It is called Cloud Gate and is in Millennium Park in Chicago.  

Look how cool this is?  You can see your reflection in it and the reflection of the people around you and the city.  Very, very neat.  
One of the things that I really like about this sculpture (in addition to the fact that it makes it really easy to take pictures of yourselves without having to ask anyone else!) is that people really just enjoy it.  People let go of their jaded veneers and marvel and play and explore and show their delight and play!  I love that.  

Have you been to Chicago?  Have you been to either of these places?  

Do you have a favorite fountain somewhere?  

Have you seen any of the fountains in Houston?  What is your favorite?  

Do you have a favorite sculpture?  What/where is it?  

Where have you been where you have seen people let loose and just show their delight in something show?  

As always, if you have a post about one of these questions, leave a link!  Kelly

Sunday, January 6, 2008

progressive organization

The pantry project isn't quite done (I really didn't expect it to take THIS LONG). I'm making a run to Wal-mart to pick up a few more glass canisters and I may not get to the freezer in the immediate future, but I did want to post some pics of what I've got so far. I'm very excited about how it looks and the difference it makes in ease of use.

Okay, here's the before of the fridge:


With some close-ups:

The top shelf of my actual pantry:

(the salad dressing is "one of those things that doesn't belong" but it is the easiest quick access place for it in front of the other things that are not daily use and keeps it from getting lost somewhere else.)

Finally, my favorite!

Thanks for the comments y'all have been leaving!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Pantry Progress

It has been a good afternoon. I admit to getting sidetracked to take down my tree during the pantry project, but the good news is that my tree and ornaments are all put away and I even took the opportunity to declutter ornaments!

I started the pantry project by making piles, one of my favorite activities! :)

Here are the food items that I think would look nice in clear glass canisters that I will go to Target and look for tomorrow. I have gift cards!

Here are possible containers and shelving that I already have that I may be able to use in some way. I'll keep you posted.

My Kitchen Pantry

disclaimer: when I looked at my finished post I realized that it looks as though the below picture is MY pantry! It is not! :) My pics are below! Read on . . . :)
Pantry from Wikipedia

A pantry is a room where food, provisions or dishes are stored and serves in an ancillary capacity to the kitchen. The derivation of the word is from the same source as the Old French term paneterie; that is from pain, the French form of the Latin panis for bread.

In a late medieval hall, there were separate rooms for the various service functions and food storage. A pantry was where bread was kept and food preparation associated with it done. There were similar rooms for storage of bacon and other meats (larder), alcoholic beverages (buttery) known for the "butts" of barrels stored there, and cooking (kitchen).

Wow! Can you imagine all of those separate rooms for the different stuff we use in the kitchen rather than trying to cram it all into one small space! My pantry is small and I hope to one day have a larger one and my dream of dreams is to have a butler's pantry one day to organize dishes, linens and fun, special hostessing goodies for use with my family and friends. But I am very, very thankful and happy to have a pantry of any kind right now. Not only are there those without food at all but when I was apartment hunting last summer, upon noticing the lack of a pantry in one apartment I was shown, the leasing agent actually told me, "oh, you don't need a pantry. No one really uses pantries these days!" Well, I do!

Right now my pantry is an absolute disaster! That just happens from time to time in my experience. I feel the urge to gain some kind of handle on organization before going back to work next week.

So . . . here we go, as naked as this can be, here are "before" pics of my pantry, the kitchen shelves I'm thinking I may be able to put to good use in this project and my fridge and freezer. I would love any suggestions that any of you would like to share! This would be a great time for those of you who don't comment to chime in! (Not that I mind if you want to hang around regardless of whether or not you comment, comments are just always so nice.)

p.s. I will post after pics too!

p.s.s. if anyone has suggestions of where to buy cute, cheap, vintage looking clear glass canisters, send them on!

p.s.s.s. A new Costco membership also has more bulk items flowing through my larder so if anyone has tips on how to shop, use, & organize when buying in bulk, that would be helpful too. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ringing Out the Old Year

New Year's Eve!

Adrian wanted to cook for me to celebrate our first new year's eve together!

(Last new year's eve is when he asked me if I'd like to meet in person for the first time after our e-mail and phone conversation of a couple months!)

I went over to my friend Jenni's house to visit and get ready so he could cook and get everything ready for me.

When I came home he was all dressed up in my favorite shirt of his. He went all out for me! Everything was so wonderful!

He set the table exquisitely, even ironing the tablecloth! He bought tulips for me, my favorite flower. He planned a four course meal for me and also included the hard Italian breadsticks I like that you can duel with at the table. :) To drink we had a variety of Izze bottled sparkling fruit juices on ice in a silver bucket on a cut glass platter. I love how he knows details are a big deal to me!

Our dinner together was sooo much fun! I really enjoyed myself and enjoyed being spoiled. :) I am thankful for a wonderful boyfriend!

Here is our menu that he had sitting out on the table for me when I got there!

The table set for our first course

This was our first course. These are little tiny bell peppers with soft French cheese (garlic and herb and tomato basil) piped inside in two different patterns. He made this! Impressive!

The second course, Insalata Caprese! Yum! Didn't he do a nice job of the presentation?

He also served it up really well!

At one point I walked into the "powder room" and this sight greeted me beside the sink. Really? Who thinks of everything like this? I felt so special!

Main course: Italian style spinach and filet mignon with green peppercorn cream sauce

My chef for the evening. He did good!

The finishing touch!
Three types of gelato with fresh blackberries in the cream soup bowls he gave me for my birthday

Happy New Year!