Ready or not, here comes Turkey Day — AND your hungry family. If you have been honored with the chore of making dinner for the fam, make it easy on yourself with the proper tools.
Must-have kitchen gadgets for a Thanksgiving feast
Electric knife: I know it seems goofy, but this Electric Knife from Cuisinart will make it super simple to cleanly slice up your bird or ham come the big day. Carving a turkey can be a real chore, but this handy blade takes the guess work and grunt work out. It comes with a solid hardwood stand and handle storage so you can keep it properly stored and it will be like-new every year. Switch between the two stainless steel blades, designed for carving meat and bread respectively. A safety button and a four foot cord makes this electric knife user-friendly and safe for everyone.
Immersion blender: Whether you're looking to perfect your gravy, mashed spuds or whip up a great soup with that leftover turkey, an immersion blender is a must have. This particular model from Cuisinart comes with three different attachments to do the work of a food processor, a power whisk or drink mixer plus a blender. Two speeds and a 200 watt motor allow you to chop, puree, blend, whip and process.
Food chopper: Chop veggies for your stuffing, pecans for pie, garlic to spice up your potatoes and much more with this easy hand chopper. The plastic base allows you to chop without the addition of a cutting board. The covered design also keeps you hands out of the way, so you can cut and dice without worrying about slicing your fingers. This safe, easy to clean (throw it in the dishwasher!) and user-friendly chopper is a great addition year-round.
Food processor: Cut your prep time in half with a food processor. This one has a three cup bowl and convenient handle that allows you to easily measure ingredients. This counter top appliance is perfect for chopping veggies and making sauces like cranberry relish.
The delicate sound of garden wind chimes creates the perfect at-home escape from the busy world.
We are constantly adding new collections to our site and recently we found this excellent wind chime manufacturer, Woodstock Chimes. This family-owned business is based out of Hudson Valley, New York. Woodstock Chimes creates and produces high quality, unique pieces that are sure to provide a sense of calm and joy to any age with their world-famous sounds.
When the catalog of wind chimes hit my desk, my first thought was, "but summer is over!"
How wrong I was. Gentle autumn breezes create the perfect environment for these timeless melodies. Crisp air and the traveling twinkle of wind chimes is the perfect setting for carving pumpkins, picking apples, and enjoying warm cider and donuts.
Proper storage for your pet's food is a must, not only for your convenience, but for your friends health too! A few staple pieces will make this task an easy one to keep up:
The most important pieces you need are a plastic bin and a scoop. That's it! When looking for a plastic bin, find one large enough to hold at least an entire bag of your preferred dry kibble. You also want to make sure there is some space left so you can easily scoop. Also look for a bin that has at least two latches on the side — you want an airtight seal that is going to promote freshness and longevity.
The Airtight Storage Tote has SIX latches and a clear finish that makes it easy to tell at a glance when you need to stock up on food. You can also use a garbage can if the space you have is vertical. Just make sure you use something with a secure lid like this Sterilite Plastic Kitchen Trash Can.
Next, the scoop. This is one is easier, I promise. You want to search for something that is constructed from a food-safe, durable material. It's a real plus if you can find that has a loop or hole for hanging too. This BPA-free plastic scoop is great find with a half cup capacity.
If you'd rather just skip the searching and find a system that is ready to go, there are plenty of complete pet food storage bins out there! This model from our friends at Iris comes complete with a latching lid and four rolling casters. It's super easy to move around the house and holds more than enough with a 33 quart capacity.
Looking for something different? Consider these food storage ideas that easily transition to food storage for our furry friends:
Cereal dispenser: The under counter cereal dispenser is a great way to save time. Simply place you buddy's food bowl underneath, pull the lever and watch the kibble fill.
Bulk Food Dispenser: This is a great idea for cat food. This pitcher-like bin holds food, bag and all. The handle makes it super easy to pour and a tight-latching top keeps contents fresh.
For many, Labor Day is the last chance at a weekend getaway before summer fades into fall.
If you're packing up the family car for one more camping trip, you want to make sure you have everything you need to make it count. By this point in the summer, you should have you gear ready to go, but here are a few essentials that will make you review your checklist:
Food is an important part of any vacation, and when you're planning a camping trip grilling is top of the list. I usually recommend packing at least two coolers – one for food and one for drinks, but I just came across this great organizer and I think it's perfect for camping. The Trunk Organizer with Cooler is ideal for a family get away. The cooler is perfect for hot dogs, burgers and more while the multitude of pockets and cubbies house any shelf stable snacks like fresh fruit, chips and bottles. It's an organizers dream come true, honestly. It fits perfect in any hatch or trunk and doesn't need to be removed once you've set up camp. Keep foods in the trunk and there's no need to worry about pesky animals snacking on your dinner. Even add jumper cables and other travel necessities. If you need more room for drinks, add another cooler.
When you have the whole family at one camp site, it is important to create usable space. Pop up canopies are a huge help in this area. Canopies help create shelter without getting in your tent or camper. Set up a table and chairs, maybe keep your coolers under it – whatever you want to do. Just make sure you have it anchored down!
One of the biggest realizations I have had while camping over the years is the simplest: trash. Sometimes you end up with food waste or empty wrappers, but it's not terribly convenient to dispose of properly. Plus, you don't want to keep it out or just in a trash bag because then you invite animals to your site. The best solution I have found is utilizing a plastic storage bin. Find one that seals real tight and use it to keep empty cans or bottles, trash, food and more until you can get to a garbage can.
Laundry doesn't have to be a chore. Well, not a begrudging one at least. Proper storage and organization can cut down the time you spend in the laundry room.
Create a proper home for cleaning supplies with a storage cart. This model fits perfectly between the washer and dryer, creating a convenient and out-of-eye-sight solution. This three tier laundry cart takes up just eight inches of space in width. Store softener sheets, detergent, an iron, bleach and more safely.
Keep the ironing board tucked out of sight too with a holder or hanger. This wall mounted hanger holds your ironing board upright when folded. This piece features a top basket too, perfect for storing your iron, spray starch and more.
This contemporary laundry sorter includes four canvas bags that hang from a solid metal frame. Wire handles make it super simple to add and remove bags when transporting laundry throughout the home. Rolling and locking casters make it so easy to load clothes in the wash straight from the bags. This piece is a must-have for family homes with piles of laundry.
Cut down the time you spending folding clothes, too. Thanks to this shirt folder, you can quicken the process of getting clean clothes back in their rightful place. This folder is made from durable plastic, so it is sure to work for years. The non-slip surface is easy to use for big and small hands alike. Utilizing this folder helps reduce wrinkles too!
If you're looking to save money on supplies, consider making your own detergent.
What you need:
Fels Naptha Bar Soap
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
Essential oils if desired
What you do:
Grate bar soap with microplane
Add one cup borax
Add one cupsoda
Mix in food processor until combined as one powder
The longer the school year goes on, the more unorganized your locker becomes. Whether you have the locker yourself, or you are helping your son or daughter find the right locker organizers for this school year, you probably have the same goal: stay neat, organized, and don't lose your homework!
Between the books, folders, notebooks, and loose papers, your locker can easily become a mess. Most locker space is limited, so you need to find items to organize your locker but also make it look fun and different from all the other lockers. Here are some items we recommend to do both!
Magnetic Pencil Bins- Perfect for keeping your pens and pencils in order. These bins come in many colors and patterns to fit your unique style!
Magnets! – Colorful magnets are perfect for holing any important papers, notes, or reminders on your locker door to keep you on your toes throughout the day!
Locker Shelves – Add more layers to your space and seperate books and folders by different school subjects or put folders on one level and books on the other.
Here is another item that you would normally find in your closet. Give this a shot and repurpose the classic Closet Divder. This item is perfect for dividing in you locker and seperating papers from books. The transparent acrylic makes it perfect to see exactly what youre grabbing from all angles so there is no mix up before classes.
When hosting friends and family, I think we all have that drive, almost maternal, to make sure our guests are as comfortable as we can make them. Even if we secretly hope they will choose a hotel next time instead (hey, it happens!), there's something about having someone living in your home for a night or weekend that makes you want to impress. Here are some ideas to get you started on your way to being that girl…the hostest with the mostest (okay, I promise I won't say it again).
Nothing says cozy winter gatherings than a fireplace. This one mounts to the wall and is quite inexpensive. Read more
When I wanted to write about Christmas this week, I wondered if it was too early.Then I saw two Christmas posts on a couple of my favorite "intentional living" blogs and I felt like I was in good company. So… onwards and upwards.
When you think about Christmas, what are the aspects that overwhelm you and stress you out?
For me, it's not knowing what's happening.
I'm a girl who loves a plan and I like to know who's hosting the lunch and what I have to bring.
I also like to have clear in my mind what we're doing about gifts and cards. Read more
I have the best FREAK of the WEEK! She is the most organized person I have ever met. I used to teach organizational classes for a living, and she makes me look messy. Very messy. Her closets in her house have EVERYTHING in labeled boxes. You could eat off the floor at all times. If I ask her what she is doing tonight, she checks her list and tells me.
Here's a photo that shows what I did with some of the beads.
I have to nominate myself as Freak of the Week. I just got in a shipment of 25 pounds of glass beads, mixed colors, sizes and styles. You can imagine how many beads are in 25 pounds. Well, I turned on the Tivo, got a lot of small boxes, and sorted every single one of those beads.
If that wasn't obsessive enough, I then washed, with a sieve, each of the boxes I had sorted. After I dried them, I put them in clear zip top bags and stored them in my library card file (I purchased them when our library went computerized) by color, and of course the drawers are labeled with a Brother P-touch labeler.
Yes, excessive; yes, over the top; yes, even a bit freaky; but I can find just what I want in seconds! Here's a photo that shows what I did with some of the beads.