Sunday, February 23, 2014


Confession: I have a "stuff" problem. So much so that I am CONSTANTLY buying baskets to put my "stuff" in. I've come to the realization that I place waaaaay too much importance on material possessions, but they aren't really "important" to me. You read me?

I want to live simply…live with less, and do MORE of what I love. Enter my new goal: SIMPLIFY.

I don't really know where to start, but I do know that I want this to be long term. So, I am going to start slow. If I purge too fast, I know myself well enough to know that I run the risk of going on a spending spree to replace what I purged. Classic Sarah.

My plan is simple. I am either going to donate or sell our "excess."

I am slowly going through our home (systematically), examining its contents, and asking myself these questions:

1. Do I use/need it?

2. Does it add value (not monetary) or meaning to our life?

If the answer to either question is yes, then it stays. If the answer is no, then I ask myself another question…

3. Is someone likely to buy it? (Yes items are noted for garage sale)

If the answer is no, I ask myself one more question…

4. Could someone else need/benefit from this?

No? Trash. Yes? Into a box for donations it goes.

I am hoping this is just the beginning of something great for our family… time will tell. If you are on a similar journey or already living a "less is more" lifestyle, all tips, suggestions and words of wisdom are much appreciated. :)

This is definitely different than any kind of purge I've done before so, like I said before, I'm taking it slow. Radical change doesn't happen over night :)…though my husband might say his Type A wife sometimes attempts just that…

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shrimp Scampi Linguine

So good. So easy.

Vegetable oil
3/4 pound whole grain linguine
3 T unsalted butter
2.5 T olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a large pot of boiling salted water (add a little oil so your pasta doesn't stick), cook the pasta according to the package directions.

In a 12 inch skillet, melt the butter and olive oil on med/low heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the shrimp, 1.5 tsp kosher salt, and pepper and sauté (stirring often) until the shrimp are pink (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and parsley. Toss.

When the pasta is done, drain it and put it in a bowl. Add the shrimp and sauce. Toss well. Serve and enjoy!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Our fireplace revisited...

Several months ago I asked for input about our fireplace. It was a problem.


After taking some of your suggestions, I changed one of the pictures, added a grouping of candles to the top and switched out the basket on the hearth.

Last night, on a whim, we decided to "lipstick" the mantel (because we loathe honey oak). Now, some "purists" will be appalled that we painted over wood, but for us, it is a much needed update. 50 years from now, I'm sure someone will say, "WHY DID THEY PAINT OVER THIS WOOD?!!" But…at this moment…I don't care. That's what paint stripper is for…

Lighter and brighter, and much more our style.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Spice, Spice Baby!

Sorry. I couldn't help myself.

I despise spice storage. It's next to impossible for me (despite good effort) to organize all those (various sized) bottles in a really efficient way. I feel like I am constantly searching for what I need... only to find I have either a) multiple bottles of it or b) zero bottles of it. While this little organizing system doesn't completely solve my hide-and-seek spice problem, it does lessen it a bit by making my spice cupboard a little less cluttered.

I love IKEA. Have I mentioned that yet? This is the bygel rail ($2.99), coordinating wire basket ($2.99), and a set of rajtan spice jars ($3.49). I filled the jars with the spices I use most frequently when cooking: {kosher, iodized and garlic} salt and italian seasoning.

I love that it doesn't take up any counter space and frees up space in my spice cupboard. Not bad for a grand total of $9.47, right?!

You can also get s hooks for the same rail… which has me itching to use bygel rails for another kitchen organization project in the very near future…like tomorrow :).