She’s Spicy –Organizing your spice cabinet

I’ve had it with the space I keep my spices.  The lazy Susan’s get jammed.  I never know what spices I have or don’t have.  You’re dead to me.

I decided to take the door inside my pantry and make it spice central.

I found a door sized rack at Home Depot for $40.  Then, I cleared out the cabinet checking the dates on all the spices.  Throwing out the expired ones.  What a waste.

Two treasures I found…

First, in England they call sprinkles, Sugar Strands.  I have had this jar for 6 years.  I don’t use them.  It’s sentimental.

Second, I can’t recall what this spice was, but it expired in 1998 which means I’ve probably had it since 1996 and that was at the first house (3 houses ago) that Mr. Bee and I lived in when we were first married.  Yikes.

I found a spice inventory on this blog and checked off everything I had and made a list of what I need to replace.  I clipped this list inside the pantry so I can have an at-a-glance of what I have on-hand.

I found spice jars for a $1 each at World Market and was able to use a 15% off coupon.  I spent less than $30 on 36 spice jars.  They’re just big enough to hold the contents of the small sized spice container, which I determined is all one needs so your spices don’t go to waste.  The tops come in all colors.  I liked the turquoise blue.

Then I got my label maker going while Mr. Bee hung the shelf.

Note:  Ruthie, the weinerful, inspecting the work.

The bottom rack holds all of Mr. Bee’s barbecue spices.  The next one holds the basics like Lawry’s seasoned salt, sea salt, pepper and peppercorns.

The next rack holds a variety of cooking spices and the one above it holds baking spices.  The two blue trays hold extracts, shakers of powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar, toothpicks, matches, baking soda and baking powder.  At the very top are boxes of tea and coffee.

I’m making the empty cabinet a place for more dishes and serving pieces.  It’s nice to be organized.

Make an Entrance — Tips for Getting Your Porch Ready

What does your front porch say to your guests?  Come on in…go away…this house is vacant…or come around the back?

During this transition of September to October, I decorate my front porch with my alma mater, TCU, spirit.  I have a rustic pot stuffed with purple and white pom poms, pennants and white and purple twirly twigs.  I even put a verse from a school cheer on the chalkboard.  Add a few pots of ferns, some pansies, and a cozy place to sit.

Your front porch tells a story to your visitors.  Even if you don’t have time to do full-on decor like Martha, just put out a few pots of mums and a pumpkin, or two.  Be creative with the containers you already have around.  I took a pair of rain boots and stuffed them with purple and white mums.

I have a wrought iron table on the porch topped with a piece of vintage marble from the 4617 days.  I happen to have an outlet on the porch, which I think it a must, and put a lamp on it.  I love the coziness of the lamp instead of the porch light.

Now that we are approaching that time of the year with lots of parties and friends stopping by, here are a few tips to help you make an entrance…

  • Stand out on your porch and take a survey of what people see.  Get the broom out and sweep away dirt and cobwebs around the doors, windows and porch roof.  Sweep the porch.
  • Clean the windows.  Those Windex bottles you can attach to your outside hose work wonders.
  • Clean out the light fixure glass.  The moths in there have gone on to their great reward a long time ago.  Replace blown out light bulbs.
  • Do you need to get a new door mat?  Does it need to be cleaned with the hose?  Clean it while you’re doing the windows.
  • If you have cushions on the porch do they need to be cleaned, hosed off, or replaced?
  • Clean the tops of any surfaces, like tables, you might have on the porch.  Clean the porch furniture.
  • Throw away dead plants that didn’t survive the summer.  Replace with pansies and mums that love the fall and the latter can be replanted in your garden when winter arrives.
  • Do the fixtures or mailbox need to be repainted or touched up?  A simple can of spray paint can make your fixtures look brand new.
  • Are your house numbers in need of updating or repainting?  About once a month, a guy comes by our house asking if we want our house numbers at the curb touched up.  I had Leen the Graphics Queen do our house number in vinyl lettering.
  • Is the door clean?  Are their hand, paw, or shoes prints on the door.  Get out the 409 and give the door a good cleaning.  If you have a storm door like me, I trained Miss Bee along time ago to clean the glass.

Most of these tasks will take 45 minutes.  Teach your kids to do some of them while you sit back and read People magazine.

How will you welcome the first day of fall this Saturday?