organized Archives | The Pickled Ginger


One-Pallet Wonder – Spice Rack

by ColleenTags: , , , , , , , , Categories: DIY

I think I could probably function optimally if I had the luxury of hibernating all year long, awaking only for the fall season. Is that so insane? Or better yet, if three seasons out of the year were autumn-like, breaking for one month for a glorious snowy winter. I know there are too many obstacles to the practicality of this scenario, such as the obvious need for the spring and summer seasons to bring forth the beautiful leaves that eventually don their gold and scarlet hues, but a girl can dream, right?

What I’m saying, in a very verbose way, is that I feel so much more productive right now than any other time of the year. I’m still keeping on track with my weight loss journey, but I feel less obsessive about documenting it right now because I’ve got much more interesting ideas and projects on my brain. I’m getting organized too, which is really helpful to me when it comes to weight loss.

One of the organizational projects I’ve been working on is my kitchen. We’re renting, which has been really great, as we’ve been fortunate enough to have the most awesome landlord anyone could ask for. But as any renter knows, renting customarily severely limits your options when it comes to remodeling. In our case, the pink-and-blue flowered 1980’s styled wallpaper and giant white porcelain cabinet knobs were too much to bear and our landlord wholeheartedly supported our efforts to strip and paint the kitchen walls, and to replace the cabinet hardware with something less dated, like simple brushed nickel.

I have a lot of cookware and kitchen appliances and limited space; and if I’m honest, I’ve let quite a few of our kitchen cabinets become overrun with junk in the past 8 years that we’ve lived here. A perfect example is my “spice” cupboard, which very quickly became a spice-medicine-vitamins-and-any-other-junk-I could-shove-in-there cabinet. Yeah, it got really bad. After months of poring over Pinterest pins, I became obsessed with the idea of an organized spice rack made from pallet wood.

After securing a nice rough pallet from a friend, I proceeded to spend 3 months arguing with my husband over how to proceed. I could not find plans for a spice rack that suited me. I do a lot of cooking and baking and possess a wide variety of exotic spices, and as my goal was to completely clean out that darned cabinet, it was imperative that my rack be large enough to house my collection. Additionally – and this is where the arguing with my DH came in – it was my goal that the rack be made solely of the material from the one pallet.

Well, my babe came through for me. After roughing out a 3D model of his plans, he set to work prying apart and rearranging boards. As the pallet was a bit rough (which I personally loved), I decided on a distressed whitewashed finish, which goes along nicely with the look of my kitchen. I didn’t think to get a before shot of the pallet, but here is a shot of the shelf whilst being whitewashed.

rack

After being anchored to the wall, I transferred my spices to some tiny adorable glass canisters that I found on Amazon and labeled them with chalkboard stickers. I think the end result was really adorable (Actually, I think I’m going to touch up the paint in some areas yet). Also, I found some cute vintage fleur-de-lis hooks that I think I’m going to attach to the bottom to hang some measuring spoons and pot holders.

In addition to feeling better about my organized spices, I now have an entire cabinet that I can now dedicate to tea cups and coffee mugs for enjoying hot beverages on these cool fall evenings. It’s a win-win!!

Save

Save

Save

Save


Educate Yourself

by ColleenTags: , , , , , , Categories: Health & Nutrition

As a general rule, I don’t watch documentaries. I break that rule from time to time, but rarely. It’s not that I don’t like a good documentary, but there are certain topics I feel that I am pretty knowledgeable about, and when a documentary comes along that supports my conclusions on a given topic or exposes the selfish agenda of agencies or individuals who are supposed to be helping individuals, raging righteous indignation sets in, and I don’t often handle my feelings in the most appropriate way. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say that I sometimes possess a kindred understanding of people who say and do bat-shit crazy things seemingly out of the blue to get a point across.

My husband, by contrast, is a documentary junkie. Working from home enables him to indulge in this obsession pretty much day and night. Of the two monitors set up on his desk in his home office, one is always, without fail, running a documentary of some sort. And also without fail, after each film, my husband will give me an account of what he’s just watched and try to persuade me to watch as well. I always tell him no thanks. Until last week, that is.

About a week ago, I gave in and sat down on the couch with my husband and watched a documentary called “That Sugar Film.” The documentary was made by an Australian man, Damon Gameau, who decided to embark on a 60‑day experiment wherein he would consume Australia’s national average of 40 teaspoons of sugar per day and record the changes to his otherwise healthy body and mind. This was remarkable for him, as he had been sugar-free (including no processed foods) for 3 years. The aim of this rather light-hearted documentary with a serious message is to educate about the real toxic effects of sugar on our bodies in the quantities that Western nations consume it. As far as health documentaries go, it was mild, as well as entertaining. I highly recommend taking some time to watch it.

A couple nights later, serious PMS and a nasty cold took me down, and as I could find nothing worthwhile on the television, and Gameau’s sugar documentary was still on my mind, I decided to Netflix Katie Couric’s documentary, “Fed Up”, another documentary my husband has been talking incessantly about and trying to get me to watch with him. It highlights the pervasiveness of sugars in our diet and our government’s long-time complicity with the food manufacturers in keeping the population in the dark about nutrition, while continually pushing the garbage products. The film features families with obese children who are struggling to lose weight, and dumbfounded that cutting calories, consuming goods labeled as “heart healthy” or “fat free” and incorporating exercise don’t seem to work as far as promoting healthy minds and bodies.

My takeaway from this documentary is 1.) Processed sugar is killing us – Literally. It’s toxic, it’s addictive and not one of its many forms is better than another. Learn the various names for processed sugar and read labels. Better yet, stop eating processed foods. Buy healthy wholesome ingredients and cook for yourself; and 2.) Take the time to educate yourself on nutrition. Don’t look to the government recommendations to lead you in the right direction. There are so many different approaches to health, some more insane than others, but be objective. Ask questions. Find out what’s in the food you’re eating and find out why and how foods affect your body in the way that they do. Better yet, stop eating processed foods! Buy healthy wholesome ingredients and cook for yourself!

Where have I heard that before?


Rediscover Your Productivity While Working from Home!

by ColleenTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Categories: Work-at-home Tips,Working from Home

From time to time, I find myself feeling a little frustrated when I don’t quite “have it all together.”  Case in point, I’m currently sitting in my home office which very visibly has not been vacuumed since my return from vacation nearly a week ago; the mail basket sitting on my desk is overflowing with envelopes I’ve yet to open; my voice mail box is so full it can’t take any new messages; and I’m sipping coffee from one of 3 drinking vessels left on my work station during the course of the week.  (About 10 minutes ago, I picked up the wrong mug.  Ugh!)
(more…)