Friday, February 1, 2019

Friday Favorites: Kitchen Organization, Party Platter, Trader Joe's, New Bedding & Valentine's Day Gift Guide

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It's finally Friday!  I have been off on my days all this week, and it seemed like I crammed a whole work week in Monday - Tuesday, so needless to say I am glad it is actually Friday.

1.  Wednesday night we had some snow.  I hightailed it out of work to get home.  They weren't forecasting much, but it was already sticking and I was not taking any chances after my 2.5 hour commute (my normal commute is 10 min or less) a few weeks ago.  We were experiencing some of the extreme temps that the rest of the Midwest was seeing, so come Thursday morning, all I kept hearing on the news was icy road conditions.  I worked from home, because I was not about to attempt to drive on ice.  Now, from what I heard the roads weren't terrible, but one of my friends said they 'weren't great', which to me would probably equal terrible, so I am glad I ended up staying home.

All this lead up to say, it was so nice working from home, because not only was I able to work, I was also able to get a few things done.  Nothing too big, but a break here and there allowed me to quickly clean out a kitchen drawer, and two cabinets.  The transformations weren't too extreme, but to me they are much better.  Especially the cabinet underneath the kitchen sink - it looks sooooo much better.  Some cleaning products got moved out to more appropriate places, and I somehow had a bunch of empty baggie boxes, and even a big empty box of garbage bags.  Much, much better.  I didn't take before pictures, but here are a few of them after.  Nice and clean and organized!    

And because I never shared pictures of the pantry and spice drawer all cleaned out, here they are!

2.  Last weekend I went to a trivia night, and had told everyone I would bring veggies (along with puppy chow, because balance).  I have always wanted a covered dip tray, and I had seen one that was so neat at the Pampered Chef party I had just been to the day before.  Well, that one was quite a bit more than I was prepared to spend on something like that.  But, when I was at the grocery store the next day, I found an awesome option for only $10.00.  It has four sections, with a dip bowl in the middle.  One thing I really liked about it was that there was a separate tupperware insert for the dip with its own lid.  That way when you transport it, the dip doesn't get all over the place.  I just love it - I feel like it has so many uses, and I felt like that was a really great price, too!

*As I was trying to find this online, it looks like Walmart actually has them for only $3.97 (link here)!  And if you can't find it at Walmart, Amazon is showing it for $8.99 (link here).  I thought $9.99 was a good deal at my local grocery store - guess that just shows it pays to shop around!

3.  I was feeling a bit lazy one night this week and had zero desire to actually cook something for dinner, so I turned to my freezer to see what I could make.  I had grabbed some frozen goodies during my last Trader Joe's trip, and put two of the items together for a really yummy, and pretty healthy dinner!  First, I grabbed chicken and vegetable dumplings.  Mallory Ervin had shared about them awhile ago, and said how good (and relatively healthy) they were.  Then, as I was trying to figure out what to make them with, I remember I had some frozen edamame, too!  My sister in law introduced me to edamame last year, and I have been loving it since.  Both items were able to be popped in the microwave, and in minutes I had a delicious dinner!  I poured a little low sodium soy sauce in a ramekin to dip my dumplings in and called it done.  So, so good.

4.  My next big home project is my master bedroom.  I recently bought new bedding, and now I just need everything else, haha!  But it's a start.  My mom came across this Lucky Brand comforter set on sale at Macy's.  I got it on sale, and hoped that it would be just what I was looking for when it came in.  
And it was!  From there, I ordered a quilt and two euro shams from Pottery Barn.  I absolutely love all of Pottery Barn's bedding, but to create the look I want, it would cost wayyyyy too much to do all Pottery Barn.  I still need to get sheets, and accent pillows, but like I said...this is a start.  I picked up paint chips last weekend, and think I am close to having a color picked out.  

Belgian Flax Linen Floral Stitch Quilt, Twin, Midnight
My next purchases will be the rest of the bedding (sheets, accent pillows, probably new pillow inserts), and then the actual bed.  I am considering ordering from one of those mattress in a box places...if you have any recommendations on those, please let me know!  And also, if you have gotten a mattress from one of those places, what did you do about a box spring?  

It's going to be a few months before it all comes together - but I am really excited to at least get going on it!       

5.  With Valentine's Day fast approaching, I shared a few gift ideas earlier this week - all under $20.  And actually, most of them are quite a bit cheaper than that!  Just little gifts that I have either given myself, or wouldn't mind receiving.  You can see all the details in this post here.

For the Ladies

essie Gel Couture Nail Polish - image 1 of 3MAC Pink Lipstick, Main, color, ANGEL (F)

  For the Guys

productNoah - Blue (Solid Rings)Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark [Blu-ray]

For the Kids

Linking up with WhitneyErika and Andrea.


  1. I love the lucky comforter, can’t wait to see how all your bedding comes together! Your organization looks great and I hope you have a super sweet weekend!

  2. That bedding is so cute! We are working on our bedroom right now. And those llama llama books are some of my very faves!

  3. One of my best girlfriends from the Army now lives in a rural town right beside Columbia, so she's been updating me on the insane MO weather! Good gracious!! I can't believe your 10 minute commute turned into 2.5 hours! You know it's bad when a state that generally knows how to handle winter weather really can't keep up! Glad you could work from home though and catch up on some organizing too. Total win/win!

  4. I sure wish PB wasn't so dang expensive. I would have outfitted our entire house in it if it wasn't. I love the quilt you picked out from there. It's all going to look so great when you get it done!! And also, I love how you use different bins for your pantry. I'd like to do that eventually, too. It makes it look so much cleaner!

  5. The veggie and dip tray looks so useful. I have a chip and dip tray that I usually use for that, but it's not very portable.
    I love your organization pictures. Sometimes I go on Instagram and scroll through random organization picture of strangers! It's amazing how organizing just one small area can feel so good!