Wishy-Washy Laundries ..a thing of the past

We have always mourned the lack of respect the  hardworking laundry gets despite being one of the most used areas of the house.  Often allocated little space, it’s as if it was a last minute thought. Most people will agree that a well appointed laundry is a pleasure to work in. Accessible cabinetry boosts the function up to utility room status where everything from light bulbs to hand tools can be squirreled away.

Laundry

Look up, look down, look all around for unused space….

drying line, Lofti, laundry drying rack

…behind a door where we found space for storing hangers used for hang-drying. This could easily be mop and broom holders also. Adjust your door stop so the hooks don’t hit the back of the door.

Hanger storage

…or like this drying rack that drops from the ceiling.

It’s hard to visualize where everything should go so utilize some professional expertise so you don’t waste any space. Our friends at Ironaway did a pretty good job with this project. Having the ironing board tuck away easily makes life so much easier. Good lighting makes up for the lack of a window. This project incorporates craft space which makes total sense.

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A pullout table can be hidden in drawer space, at your finger tips when you need it not only for your machine but also wrapping gifts or laying out a project.

Sewing room, craft room, pullout sewing table, pullout table

Divide at least one drawer for sewing supplies. Easily replace a missing button or tack a pesky loose hem which always seem to come loose in the dryer.

drawer dividers, sewing organizer,

At the very least, arm yourself with a simple sewing kit

sewing kit, mending, button

Small gadgets like the Neatfold can really add to your efficiency. This easy to install tool acts like a second pair of hands for folding sheets.

laundry folding, sheet folding, laundry tools

The perfect laundry accessory

Don’t forget necessary functions like sorting…

laundry hamper, laundry sortinglaundry hamper….and flat drying

laundry drying rack

Folds flat to the wall when not in use

…and perhaps a spot for hanging, even if you don’t have the space for a rod.

laundry hanging, hanging bar, laundry drying

Now you see it, now you don’t!

Lastly, you can consider this compact, do everything, laundry centerfolding laundry center, folding ironing board

So now you can see how your laundry, small or large, can really add value to your life. Go forth and make it as powerful as your high efficiency washing machine!

The Microegg

Faster Than Drive-Through: A Perfect Egg Sandwich in Under a Minute

microegg

A perfectly poached egg in under a minute?! It seems too good to be true, but that’s what the Microegg offers. We’re not really ones for endorsing unitaskers, but this little silicone box is pretty neat.

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Yes, the egg really will cook up in the microwave just the way you like it (the whites cooked through, the yolks runny in our case). Here’s how to create the perfect homemade breakfast sandwich in no time. Now, you really have no excuse to pick up drive-through for breakfast.

Cut an english muffin in half width-wise, or grab a few slices of your favorite bread then toast to your liking.

Meanwhile, coat the Microegg with cooking spray. Crack the egg inside the Microegg. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Close top securely and microwave for 25-60 seconds (depending on your microwave and how you like your egg cooked).

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When your muffin or bread is toasted, slather about one tablespoon of salted butter on each side. Carefully open the top of the Microegg and slip the egg on top of the bottom half of the english muffin. Add a slice of cheese (or avocado) to the top, close, and enjoy!

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Kitchen Scales

Any professional baker will tell you that for precise measurements you need a scale.

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Not only are scales a more accurate way of measuring ingredients, you create less mess! Simply put your bowl on the scale and turn the readout to zero then add your first ingredient, zero out the scale then pour your next ingredient – and so on. With a scale you can get away with using nothing more than a bowl and one spoon.

read-digital-kitchen-scale
A small kitchen scale is also great for measuring out your meals to help with portion control, weight loss, and healthy eating.

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Kitchen scales mean better results when cooking, simple portion control, faster cooking, and less mess and cleanup!

 

Shop now!

 

Happy New Year!

You would think that  being in the storage and organization business my home would have a masterful array of tidy drawers and spiffed up closets with a side of storage savvy garage cabinets.  It does. However, it also takes some effort to keep from collecting too much and overwhelming those same spaces with tidbits of nonsense that we drag in the house and don’t get around to using or throwing out. There is also that added burden of living with others who may not be like-minded (ahem, husband) about what we keep (or buy for that matter- really, the jumbo case of baked beans?).

If you didn’t get around to making a New Year’s resolution I have a suggestion. One drawer, one closet, one shelf at a time. Don’t try to eat the whole cake when one piece can be very satisfying. Nothing feels as good as order in your home.

Chef’s Center

Fall is such a spectacular season which for many of us, culminates in that culinary holiday of all holidays, Thanksgiving!  Oh, how delicious it is!  All the things we love most about September, October and November: the warm colors, the crisp smells, perfect sunny days blended with moody, inspirational hours in front of the fire with hot chocolate and a book on our e-reader… every moment of existence has the potential to be extraordinary and filled with wonder as leaves drift to the ground and dance across the sidewalk, swirling around your bicycle tires!

Too much?

I can’t help myself! All the gardening, harvesting, canning and stashing culminates on the week of Thanksgiving — recipes are strewn about my counters, smudged with egg and dusted with spices; pies begin to fill my cooling racks; every measuring cup sports remnants of flour or sugar — it’s just so magnificent that I can’t help but burst forth with eloquence!

(I live in a house full of men and they’re all very annoyed by it at this point so I’m afraid I’m taking it out on all of you, now!)

And in  less than a month, we’ll do it all over again when we get together to feast at Christmas.

I don’t know about you, but I actually tried quite a few recipes that I had found on Pinterest last week.  And when trying a new recipe, I go back to read that recipe over, and over, and over again. Easier said than done I found, when the recipe was on a tablet and I was covered in many miscellaneous baking ingredients!

Between now and Christmas, I will hopefully acquire one of these which would have protected my kindle from my disastrous counter, (I’m a horribly messy cook!) but without taking up any more counter space than my kindle already did! And it would have made referencing the recipe much, much easier! Chef's Center

 

The pull out chart of weights and measures would have been really handy too — I referenced the Google Machine more than once last Thursday!! — and it would be unthinkable for me to add something to my kitchen gadget toolbox that didn’t store so easily, as this stand most definitely does!

 

How about you?  What will you do differently come Christmas Feasting? Or what was your favorite recipe? In another month, I’ll need a new collection of things to try!  Come find me on Pinterest to see what I tackled in my kitchen! https://www.pinterest.com/mcelf/

 

The Kindness of Cooking

It’s an amazing time of year for family. Joyful. One way to share that with our families is through our cooking. Good food is an expression of our creativity and in a way delivers comfort to those close to us. It’s a kindness that we offer all year. However, at the holidays, it has special meaning. It ties all of us together at the most basic level and for the most important reasons. It’s a point of remembrance- your grandmother’s cookies or your aunt’s cranberry relish. We honor our past and pass those memories on to our future- our children and grandchildren. At this very busy time of year, we wish you time to cook and all the joy that serving your treasured family recipes can possibly bring.

Let the Sun Shed some Light!

Sunlight has the power to 100% deodorize and fight the nastiest stains your laundry room can conjure.

Everything is better when it’s sun-dried! Despite the booming chemical industry, the sunlight is still the #1 best odor and stain fighting tool in our laundry room.

Do you have a stain that just won’t come out? Like, perhaps, something wet snuck into the middle of your laundry pile and *gasp!* some mold grew? Nasty black mold? It may take a few days, but sunlight will do it.

Cloth Diapering Mommas have tested the power of the sun

Test Diapers

For instance, what could possibly get smellier or more stained than a cloth diaper? We have spoken with cloth diapering momma’s who have tested and fully approve of the sun’s powers. If the remnants of explosive baby bums can be freshened via sun-power, then I’m willing to guarantee they can take whatever else you can throw at them!

The best part of many of the models we offer is that even if your neighborhood has outlawed the use of clotheslines (we know, ridiculous rules!!) you can choose among many a folding, collapsing or tripod models which set up quickly on your back deck and can then be safely stowed before the nosy police arrive with their smelly indoor knickers in a knot.

The Gullwing Dryer: http://morestorage.com/gullwing-air-dryer-p-1407.html

The Gullwing Dryer: http://morestorage.com/gullwing-air-dryer-p-1407.html

If you don’t live in a climate that’s sunny and warm all year round, squeeze those last deodorizing drops out of the sun this fall with any of our favorite clotheslines or dryers – just GET THOSE LINENS OUTSIDE for a blast of fresh air!

Do you use the sunshine to bring the ultimate in freshness to your favorite garments?  What do you look for in your ideal drying racks and clotheslines?

Small Space Living Attitude

I just read an interesting quote from architect Mark Schratz when talking about his 980 sqft home “It’s not minimal living; this is just small-scale living” he said. I think he hit the nail on the head. I hear that phrase a lot “I’m a minimalist”. Mark’s take is that minimalist living is not just pared down but also stripped bare while small scale living seeks out rich textures and high quality materials used in small spaces. Big difference.

In a recent article about his design philosophy, he speaks of his mechanical spaces functioning like a Swiss army knife- everything intertwined and dual purposed. I love this way of thinking and it speaks to my own sense of design. As you seek to organize your life and remove clutter, remember that living efficiently doesn’t have to mean living without warmth and character in the home. I have found that the smaller and more functional something is, the more likely it will be expensive as it often is multi-tasking. For example, I once saw a wall separating a kitchen and bath made from opaque tempered glass. This was not an inexpensive solution (and not the image I am posting as an example) but one that saved inches of floor space while flooding the bath with natural light from the already bright kitchen. It was genius. What will they think of next as the world embraces smaller and smaller living spaces as the norm again?

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Neatfold...can you say it’s a gift from heaven? Seriously….Ok, maybe a little exaggerating but this simple bracket does make folding sheets neat, easy and fast. Martha Stewart once wrote a whole article about folding fitted sheets. I kid you not. Obviously America has a real problem here. If she had the Neatfold she wouldn’t have had to do that. Honestly, a cabinet with crisp linens all lined up in tidy stacks is a joy to behold. Visually, it creates a sense of organization immediately. It won’t sort them into twin, full size, queen or king. Nor will it separate towels from bath mats. After all, you have to do SOMETHING to make this your dream closet. Add a few baskets for managing small toiletries and medical supplies and your new closet will become a fabulous asset rather than a daily nightmare.

The perfect laundry accessory