Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sugar and Spice

I told myself that this summer was going to be the summer for projects. I have loads of things on my list, which I'll be sure to share throughout the summer. But the first project that I was ready to head up was organizing my spice cupboard.

Now I love to cook, but I often get frustrated because my cupboard is booby trapped. Where is Data from The Goonies when I need him? I have approximately 50+ spices and seasonings, so this organization is LONG over due.

Spices are crammed in there so tight I have to take
half the cupboard out before I can find what I need.

And look how ghetto I am! I have some spices in Ziplock bags.

This is to show how much was in that cupboard
and the varying sizes of everything.

I got the idea to tackle this from my friend Jenny (check out her blog, it's cool...). She was in the same predicament that I was. Lots of spices, all in different size bottles and lacking uniformity (something us perfectionists REALLY need). She did the leg work and found out that buying jars that would be cute and fun would cost approximately $2-3 a piece. Well, who has that kind of money to spend on spice jars? So she came up with a brilliant idea to re-use baby food jars! I had no idea what she was up to when she asked me to start saving Gabriel's old ones, but let's just say I was thoroughly impressed. She caught some great pictures of her results. Now, my pictures are not nearly as fancy or artistically taken as hers, but you get the point.

I used Goo Gone to get the sticky off the jars
(see my notes for a better way to do this)
Washed them several times to make sure they were sanitized.
This was about half of the jars I used.
I also used larger 6 oz jars for spices I had a bigger quantity of.

Clean Lids!
Spray painting the lids with chrome paint and polyurethane.
I decided to use a polyurethane to seal the lids but it's so important
to let this dry fully before you try to use them.
(I got a little impatient and left finger prints on some of my lids)

Look at how cute my jars turned out!
You can hand write the labels like Jenny did
(which she has fantastic handwriting!),

or you can cheat and print them off like me!

FINISHED PRODUCT!! I feel so fancy now!
Don't they look pretty? I love how the colors look against one another.
My new cupboard!

Couple of things that I wish I had done differently (if you think of doing this yourself):

1. No matter how anxious or excited you are about finishing up, WAIT FOR THE PAINT TO DRY! It's worth it to wait.

2. If you are able to get a hold of jars with the label still attached, keep them on there and soak them overnight in a soapy bath. Then use your fingernail or a razor blade to take the sticky off. I used the Goo Gone which worked until it dried, then I realized I had smeared the glue everywhere. It was a pain to take off.

3. I would still like to find some thing recyclable that goes with my theme to put my extracts and my shakers in.

That's it! I'm so happy with how they turned out! My life is just a little more organized now, which is always a special blessing! I think it turned out really well. And the spices look so pretty in there. It feels so good to be recycling used things and I think the total cost for me was $2 for a can of spray paint. That beats $2-3 a jar and they look just as nice. If you need a place to get jars b/c you don't have any kiddos leaving you with a large amount of them, check out your local Freecycle (this is where I got more jars). More likely than not, some mommy is saving hers and would be happy to give them to you.

Now, all I have to do if I run out of a spice is head to Central Market and just buy the spice in the quantity I need, no wasting of a plastic jar! Go Green and try to organize by using recyclable products. :) Next up, painting the living room!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


It's done. Degree achieved! It took about 7 years to complete, but I'm officially a graduate and have a Master's Degree! Isn't it pretty?

Now what to do? I know! How about a break! I'm planning on taking the whole summer off and just having fun; something I haven't gotten to do in a long time. My hope is that I'll be able to make up for some lost time with Gabriel. I'm looking forward to many date nights with Michael as well! This summer is going to be awesome.

Then come August, it'll be time to start a new journey with a new internship! Yep. It's time to grow up and be a big kid. But for the next three months, I think I'll just play.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

7 days and counting

One week.

That's it. One week until my hot little hands are holding my master's degree! Last Thursday I was overwhelmed with relief as I finished up my last class. Then on Monday, God gave me even more relief as I e-mailed off my last paper. Technically, I am finished with graduate school at DBU. It's done and it feels amazing! All that I have left to do is walk across the stage on the 13th.

People keep asking me, "So, what are you going to do next?" As much as I'd like to say, "I'm going to Disney World!" or "I have my future path all mapped out!", the truth is I really don't have a clue. The only thing I am counting on is taking (and hopefully passing) my NCE (National Counseling Exam) in July. Then who knows? I'm not in a huge hurry to grow up. I do plan to take the entire summer off and have fun with Gabriel. My hope is that I'll be able to make up for some lost time from the months of school and evenings I've been away for the past 2 years. I also plan on reading FOR FUN, going on a few small trips, and sewing. But after that, it's really up to God.

I'm not short of goals though. My big goal is to find a good, solid, Christian counseling center that I can start my internship with. But I'm not in too big of a rush. I know that if I'm focused on being in God's will, he'll put me right where He wants me. Until then, I'm going to sit back, relax, and enjoy this long awaited accomplishment!